Fentanyl Crisis Pushes Pennsylvania County To Terminate Sanctuary Status

In reaction to the fentanyl crisis that has plagued the community as illegal immigrants troop in, Butler County has scrapped its sanctuary status. Now the county will no longer obstruct the operations of Immigration and Customs Enforcement by protecting illegal immigrants.

Sanctuary jurisdictions employ different methods to block law enforcement from not letting local agencies comply with ICE detainers to refusing to grant ICE access to interview illegal immigrants in custody. Hence, the law enforcement agency’s efforts to remove deportable inmates are foiled.

In a unanimous vote, Butler County’s prison board opted for the reversal of the county’s designation as a sanctuary county with the hope that the step will go a long way in combating the trafficking of fentanyl that has hit the streets.

Prior to the new decision, Butler County was one of the 16 counties and cities in Pennsylvania that are designated as sanctuaries.

County District Attorney Richard Goldinger said that long gone are the days when crime in the county was limited to retail theft and DUIs. Now, they have to deal with drugs, which authorities say are brought in by illegal immigrants. In 2021 alone, the county recorded 57 overdose deaths linked to fentanyl.

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

Rep. Stephenie Scialabba (R-PA), who led the policy termination, explained that the sanctuary designation only made the country vulnerable to more crime as immigrants do whatever they want, knowing they are protected.

“You would never think of Butler County or Pennsylvania as a border state, but, unfortunately, it seems like borders don’t matter anymore. So, we are seeing an increase in fentanyl deaths and overdoses. We are seeing increases in drug trafficking, human trafficking,” Scialabba said, speaking to Fox News.

While the country still welcomes immigrants and provides a safe harbor for them, it will no longer offer protection to illegal aliens.

“You cannot come here, commit a crime, and think that we are not going to cooperate with ICE to have you out of here,” Scialabba stated.

Under its new system, the county prison plans to provide ICE with a list of inmates every week and grant it access to its prison and inmates. It will also accept ICE detainers that come with a warrant.