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Westchester Legislators One Vote Shy Of Immigrant Protection Act Override

Rob Astorino vetoing the Immigrant Protection Act. The override attempt fell one vote short.
Rob Astorino vetoing the Immigrant Protection Act. The override attempt fell one vote short. Photo Credit: Contributed

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- The Westchester Board of Legislators fell one vote short of passing the Immigrant Protection Act.

The legislators failed to override County Executive Rob Astorino's veto, voting 11-6 in favor. Twelve votes were needed to override Astorino's veto.

All nine Democrats voted to override the veto, along with Republicans James Maisano and David Gelfarb. Legislators John Testa, Francis Corcoran, Margaret Cunzio, Gordon Burrows, Sheila Marcotte and David Tubiolo voted against the override.

The bill prevented Westchester County from using its resources to assist federal investigations that are based on race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion or national origin. It also prohibited county departments and officers from sharing confidential information with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) unless ICE demonstrates probable cause.

Astorino had vetoed the bill saying it endangers public safety, violates federal law, infringes upon long-established principles of law enforcement cooperation and jeopardizes millions in federal public safety grants.

Last week, Astorino issued an executive order that says county law enforcement will continue to cooperate with federal authorities in investigating and apprehending immigrants involved in criminal activity but will be prohibited from asking about their legal status unless required by law.

In a statement, the Democratic Caucus said they were disappointed the veto override failed.

"The Immigrant Protection Act is a public safety bill, crafted with the help of law enforcement officers and immigration lawyers, which aims to protect all residents of Westchester," the caucus said. "Studies from all over the country show that our immigrant neighbors are less likely to assist local police departments when they feel that is may result in immigration consequences. Upholding the veto makes none of us safer."

Following the veto override, Astorino said he was pleased common sense prevailed.

"Westchester will always value and support its immigrant community," Astorino said. However, the proposed legislation was irresponsible, as reflected by the overwhelming opposition from Westchester’s law enforcement community as well as the Legal Aid Society.”

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