Two central PA municipalities vote to urge end to separating families at the border

Jun 20, 2018

In this photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, people who've been taken into custody related to cases of illegal entry into the United States, rest in one of the cages at a facility in McAllen, Texas, Sunday, June 17, 2018.
Credit U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Rio Grande Valley Sector / Associated Press

At least two Centre County municipalities are speaking against the Trump administration’s policy that separates families who enter the U.S. illegally. Leaders in State College and Ferguson Township voted to contact U.S. Congressmen urging them to take action.

Evan Myers, president of State College council, said the borough wants to be a welcoming community, one that believes diversity and inclusion make it stronger.

Myers said the Trump administration’s so-called “zero tolerance” policy separating children from parents who try to enter the country goes against that.

“We’re snatching children, babies, out of the arms of their parents. Is that the kind of country we want to be?" Myers said. "I think not.”

Borough council voted unanimously Monday night to take action. Myers and Mayor Don Hahn will send a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senators and the area’s U.S. Representatives, urging them to reverse the policy.

State College isn’t alone. Supervisors in neighboring Ferguson Township unanimously took similar action Monday.

Township manager David Pribulka said supervisors’ action affirmed the township’s values.

“It came in response to the national outcry and international outcry that came to end this action,” Pribulka said.

He said it was also driven by a December 2016 resolution. At the time, both Ferguson Township and State College approved resolutions stating their commitment to equity and inclusion.

At the state level, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro is part of a coalition of attorneys general also calling for an end to the policy.