Fed-Up County Tells Illegals the Free Ride's Over, Get Ready to Be Deported


It’s not unusual news to hear about “sanctuary” cities or counties, where illegal immigrants who are arrested are not reported to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for potential deportation.

It’s a much rarer thing, however, for a jurisdiction to shed the “sanctuary” label. If the Biden administration’s border crisis keeps up, however, expect Butler County, Pennsylvania, to start a trend.

According to WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh, up until last week, Butler County, in western Pennsylvania, was listed in an online list of sanctuary jurisdictions compiled by the conservative Center for Immigration Studies.

On Tuesday, however, “the county prison board clarified its relationship with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE.”

“The policy reads that the Butler County Prison will accept ICE detainers that include a warrant, the prison will send a list of inmates to ICE on a weekly basis, and ICE will be permitted access to the facility and inmates as appropriate,” WTAE reported Tuesday, the same day the policy was updated.

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WPXI-TV in Pittsburgh reported that members of the prison board voted unanimously to abandon any kind of sanctuary policy.

According to the Cranberry Eagle, a newspaper based in Butler County’s Cranberry Township, state Rep. Stephenie Scialabba said the county was not a sanctuary jurisdiction “in practice,” but its previous policy was enough to land it on the CIS list.

According to WTAE, Scialabba said she led the effort to clarify the county’s policy after one of her constituents let her know about the county’s inclusion on the list, along with 16 other counties in the Keystone State.

Yes, a single individual, reaching an elected representative, got the ball rolling to make this change happen. On Tuesday afternoon, the county was removed from the CIS list, the Cranberry Eagle reported.

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“The sanctuary designation did not reflect our intentions or practices,” said Scialabba, who represents a district in Butler County, according to WTAE.

“We are a county of security and law and order.”

And, according to county District Attorney Richard Goldinger, a Republican, illegal immigration has been eroding that law and order in serious ways.

“Our crime is not just DUIs and retail theft anymore. We have drugs,” Goldinger said, according to WTAE.

“Again, that stuff has not come from citizens that are making fentanyl in Butler County. It’s being brought here.”

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Fentanyl seizures at the border with Mexico have continued to rise, with Fox News reporting in December that officials on both sides of the border had made a record number of seizures in 2022.

And it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to discover just when the deadly synthetic opioid began to pour over the border in truly staggering numbers — in July of 2021, just six months into President Joe Biden’s administration. Customs and Border Patrol data showed that more fentanyl had been seized at the border in fiscal year 2021 than in all of fiscal year 2020.

Butler County Commissioner Kim Geyer, a Republican, said residents seeing the county on a list of sanctuary jurisdictions “created a lot of heartache and angst” for those who felt it didn’t share the community’s values, according to WTAE.

“They come here, they think this is a safe place to commit crimes. And it is not,” Scialabba said, according to WPXI.

“It’s a safe place to live here and work here and we welcome you. We want immigrants here, that’s what our country’s about. But you have to come here legally, you can’t come here and think we won’t cooperate with ICE.”

In other words: If you’re illegally in this country and you get arrested in Butler County, expect deportation to be a real possibility.

So, are these the values of the 16 other counties in Pennsylvania that are currently listed as sanctuary jurisdictions? Or are they on the side of more overdoses, more crime and less safety?

It’s one or the other. You can’t have both. And if you want to call yourself a “sanctuary” for those whose very presence in the United States is a crime to begin with, you’re siding with the latter camp.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture