Legislators divided over ‘Sanctuary State’ in Yates County

A thorny national subject became the subject of debate among Yates County Legislators Monday with the introduction of a resolution opposing a State Senate Bill prohibiting detention of individuals based only on the violation of federal immigration laws.

In spite of remarks from eight county residents objecting, nine legislators supported the resolution which opposes making New York a “sanctuary state.” Although he presented the resolution as chairman of the Government Operations Committee, District II Legislator Timothy Dennis opposed it, and even supported a motion to pull it from the floor.

Saying he was personally “very torn,” Dennis explained he presented the resolution because it’s his duty as chairman of the committee. “This is a really difficult topic that I don’t think we’re going to adequately address it,” he said.

The first legislator to speak out against the resolution was Bill Holgate of District IV, whose comments drew applause from the gallery when he called the resolution pointless, and said while he does not support sanctuary states, “We do need immigrant workers. We need to have support for these workers.”

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