The situation at America’s southern border is being widely described as a crisis, with a significant influx of people entering the United States on a daily basis.
Pennsylvania, despite not being on the border, is currently witnessing a strong push from lawmakers to pass bills aimed at tightening regulations for individuals who are not in the country legally.
Philadelphia and several counties in Pennsylvania have adopted sanctuary city policies, which involve refusing to hand over detained immigrants in the country illegally to federal authorities.
A new bill, House Bill 1840, aims to prohibit municipalities from becoming sanctuaries. If passed, the bill would also grant victims the right to sue if these sanctuaries knowingly release an undocumented person who subsequently commits a crime or causes damage.
Ryan Mackenzie, a Republican representative from Lehigh, expressed his concern regarding the perception that they are not cooperating with immigration enforcement. “That’s what it is.” “They could face legal consequences for their actions, as they are currently in violation of the law,” Mackenzie stated.
Johanny Freytiz, a representative from Berks, firmly stated that regardless of one’s legal status, committing a crime will result in imprisonment. The individual will face consequences for their actions.
Freytiz’s parents, originally from the Dominican Republic, immigrated to the United States. According to her, a significant number of immigrants reside in Pennsylvania, contributing to the economy through tax payments and diligent work. Unfortunately, they are frequently subjected to unfair demonization.
Freytiz expressed concern over the distortion of information and the automatic labeling of undocumented individuals as criminals. It seems that everyone is eager to attain the American dream, isn’t it? “That’s the remarkable aspect of our nation.”
Representative Mackenzie has expressed his concerns about the condition of the southern border, describing it as unsightly. He has introduced a package of bills that specifically address the issue of individuals residing in Pennsylvania without legal documentation. Mackenzie stated that discussing solutions for the border and addressing the issue is not driven by xenophobia.
Frank Burns, a Democrat from Cambria County, has expressed his support for the sanctuary city ban, stating that it is unfair to taxpayers. He believes that the primary responsibility of elected officials in Pennsylvania should be to prioritize the well-being of the people who are already residing in the state legally.
Mackenzie, a candidate for Congress in the Lehigh Valley, believes that immigration could be a key issue for the GOP in the upcoming elections. Freytizes acknowledges this point, emphasizing the importance of recognizing the individuals involved in these political matters.
In a recent statement, Freytiz highlighted the significant role played by immigrants in the formation and development of our country, city, and state. According to Freytiz, our history is a testament to the invaluable contributions made by immigrants.
The bill is currently being reviewed by the House Judiciary Committee, and it remains uncertain whether the Democratic leadership will choose to advance it.