Lebanon County has been removed from Center for Immigration Studies’ ‘sanctuary list’

LEBANON COUNTY, Pa. — Lebanon County has been removed from the Center for Immigration Studies’ “sanctuary list,” the county’s commissioners said Wednesday in a news release.

The Center for Immigration Studies — a non-profit research organization that provides information regarding legal and illegal immigration in the United States — issued a report in 2016 that listed cities, counties and states that it considered to have laws, regulations, or policies that obstruct immigration enforcement.

Lebanon County was included on that report after the county prison revised its policy language in 2008 on Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers in response to a court ruling against Lehigh County for detaining someone who was later found to be a Unites States citizen, the county commissioners’ release stated.

Following the 2016 report, the Lebanon County Prison Board voted to rescind the language, which passed on a vote of 5-1 in May 2017.

“While Lebanon County and its departments always work closely with law enforcement at every level, I am pleased to see that the Center has recognized our efforts,” said County Commissioner and Prison Board Chairman Bob Phillips. “It’s been some time coming.”

County Commissioner Bill Ames added, “I’m glad that albatross is off our neck. It was an unintended consequence but we worked quickly to fix it.”

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