Franklin County Commissioners Reaffirm Cooperation With ICE

CHAMBERSBURG –The Franklin County Commissioners reaffirmed that Franklin County is not a sanctuary county. Franklin County cooperates with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to the maximum extent permissible under federal statutory law as well as federal court case law.

NEWS TALK 1037FM sat down with Franklin County PA Commissioner John Flannery on 5 March 2024 – click here for the playback.

“Franklin County is a trusted partner,” stated Adrian Smith, public affairs officer with ICE’s Philadelphia field office, noting Franklin County, “ensures that aliens who may pose a threat to our communities are not released onto the streets to potentially reoffend and harm individuals living within our communities.”

Franklin County continues to evaluate evolving case law to ensure that it is doing everything legally possible to work closely with partners in the immigration enforcement agencies. In 2014, a federal appellate court in the case of Galarza vs. Szalczyk,et al., ruled that only judges’ orders authorize county jails to hold individuals of interest to ICE beyond their release date. The Franklin County Jail staff regularly works with ICE officials to communicate and coordinate custody exchanges for individuals of interest to ICE who are being released from jail.

In 2017, ICE mistakenly listed several counties, including Franklin County, Pennsylvania, as sanctuary counties. Subsequently, ICE corrected that information, stating that the mistake was due to a data quality issue. Stephen Ritchey with the  ICE Enforcement and Removal Office noted that he and his office, “have had a strong working relationship with Franklin County officials for many years, and despite various policies and practices, we have always worked together to keep our communities safe.”

Despite this correction, the non-governmental independent organization Center for Immigration Studies (cis.org) still lists Franklin County, Pennsylvania, as a sanctuary county.  In light of Franklin County’s long history of cooperation with federal immigration authorities, such inclusion is simply inaccurate and does not reflect the policies and practices of the County.

For more information please contact the commissioners’ office by calling 717-261-3810, or emailing commissioners@franklincountypa.gov.