LEBANON COUNTY, Pa - Lebanon County is no longer considered a Sanctuary County by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS.) The county was added onto the list in 2016, after a prison policy, encouraged by the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania, was passed in 2008.
The policy would not allow an undocumented immigrant to be held at the prison on an immigration and customs enforcement retainer.
"I certainly was concerned," said Lebanon County Commissioner Bill Ames. "And my friends who had been supporting over the years were calling me asking how Lebanon county got on this list."
Ames says in 2017 after learning the policy was the reason for the sanctuary counties title, he and other county officials began working to revert the original policy to get the county off the list.
"I think its ridiculous. It flies in the face of our federal immigration policy," said Ames. "You know illegal immigrants are not supposed to be able to get jobs or driver's licenses or any of these ridiculous things that the liberals are encouraging and allowing them to do."
However, not everyone agree Lebanon County should have taken steps to remove themselves from being considered a sanctuary county.
"When you say the word 'illegally', it's illegal. I get that," said George Rodriguez, from Lebanon. "But at the end of the day some of these people who are coming here illegally have been through so much that we have the resources to help them.. Who are we not to? These are humans, these are people."
The only sanctuary counties from our area that remain on the list are Perry and Franklin Counties.