New Paltz declared a sanctuary town

With overwhelming support from testifying residents to bolster them, New Paltz Town Council members voted unanimously last Thursday to pass a law which formally limits cooperation by town police officers with agents of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The law will have little practical effect, as it reflects a longstanding police policy.

Responding to criticism that such a law would result in more crime, several people testified that those in the country without visas are afraid to call the police, resulting in it being easier to get away with crimes against them right now. Invariably, residents spoke about how one does not sneak into the United States to obtain government benefits; rather, it is extreme danger or poverty in their home countries which drive them to risk breaking existing American law.

“There are people who are terrified in this town,” said high school student Alejandra Guzman, who explained that such fear keeps them from coming to public hearings, as well, for fear of being arrested.


Rebecca Rotzler said that she’s not convinced that federal immigration laws are even appropriate. “If you’re Native American,” which she is, the entire notion is seen quite differently.

Leo Beaumont needed to be lifted up to the mike by his mother to make his comment, as he is but seven years old. “I want this law because it is kind for others,” he told board members.

Deputy Supervisor Dan Torres again noted that the Tenth Amendment, which gives to the states those powers not enumerated for the federal government, is why threats to withdraw funding to municipalities which don’t have immigration-enforcement policies on the books would go nowhere.

Council member Marty Irwin said he was nevertheless “conflicted” about the law, because even if freezing funding is illegal, as much as $145,000 could be delayed as the matter is litigated. He polled audience members, asking if they would be willing to pay more as a consequence of passing the law; their response was resoundingly positive. Supervisor Neil Bettez also stressed that at this time, the town is receiving no federal money whatsoever.

While resident Lou Cariola was concerned about the impact on police officers, his was the lone voice of dissent which was swept aside by a rising tide of home rule.

There are 12 comments

  1. Catherine Joyner

    So very proud of our town council and Dan Torres for passing this law! Lately I’ve been almost ashamed to say I live in the USA, because of the new administration and how they are interacting with the world. I can proudly say not only do I love NY, but I am super proud to live in New Paltz!!!!

  2. Glenn S.

    Wow. Great to see there are so many people who support breaking the law and have no understanding of the ramifications of their actions. Way to go to New Paltz! Lol.

  3. U.S. Grant

    $145,000 of pool liner money gone. $75,000 from the state ain’t going to make it
    The federal government sign at the pool’s park will now be removed

  4. E MC

    Over the years i have learned that liberals are awful at basic finance and the ability of breaking down future forecasting trends using the most basic of deductions. A truly suicidal combination.. Then again, If it feels good, let’s do it!

  5. David

    And when one of these illegals undercuts YOUR job, burglarizes YOUR home and business, shoplifts from YOUR store, or commits a violent crime against YOU and YOUR family and YOUR children, will you still be happy that person wasn’t deported because of NP sanctuary city policy? The question is not will it happen but when.

  6. Sean Bonniwell

    Hey Commenter David,

    Please tell me which of the undocumented immigrants, who do not have social security numbers, and often don’t have high school diplomas, and therefore aren’t eligible for most jobs other than manual labor, is going to undercut YOUR job. And in 25 years of living in this town, I’ve interacted with many undocumented immigrants, none of whom have committed violent crimes against me. All the crimes committed against me or in my sight have been by American citizens. White ones.

    But thanks for outing yourself as a racist and a small-minded person. Good to know who fits into those categories, so I can know who not to care about. You are on the wrong side of basic morality and on the wrong side of history. If you don’t like the fact that NP is now a Sanctuary Town, you are of course free to move elsewhere. And good riddance.

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