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[Updated] Legislator wants Monroe County to consider sanctuary status


Rochester City Council voted unanimously Tuesday evening to reaffirm its sanctuary city status. The measure states that Rochester police officers won’t be responsible for enforcing immigration law. Authorities no less than the Supreme Court have said that task is the responsibility of federal – not local – governments.

Democratic County Legislator Mark Muoio is now asking County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo and Monroe County Sheriff Patrick O’Flynn to follow the city’s lead. This afternoon, he circulated a letter among his Democratic and Republican colleagues asking Dinolfo and O’Flynn to make Monroe County a sanctuary county. He’ll send the letter to the two Republicans tomorrow.

Muoio says his main concern is making sure that undocumented immigrants who have been victimized or witness a crime feel safe when they engage with police or court systems.

The sheriff’s office also operates the county jail, which the Rochester police department uses to book and hold suspects its officers have arrested. And that basically puts it in a position to undermine Rochester’s sanctuary efforts.

For example, Rochester officers wouldn’t collect information about a subject’s citizenship or immigration status; federal law doesn’t require them to do so. But jail deputies might when RPD brings someone in for booking, and it could share that information with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, even though the deputies, too, aren’t required to do so under federal law.

“We’re not interested in violating federal law,” Muoio says.

Ltr - MM to Dinolfo and O'Flynn RE Sanctuary by jmouleatcity on Scribd

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article has been updated to reflect that Rochester City Council passed the resolution.