Mar. 01, 2024

HARRISBURG – Following the announcement of Lancaster City officially becoming a designated “Welcoming City,” state Rep. Dave Zimmerman (R-Lancaster) offered the following statement:

“Instances of illegal immigrants committing crimes continue to make headlines, along with a flagging economy that is putting a huge strain on American families. Yet, Lancaster City is celebrating its decision to become an official “Welcoming City” – thereby inviting illegal immigrants to relocate to the county. 

“This decision – at its core – is putting the interests of foreign, illegal immigrants over the interests of long-time citizens. We are a welcoming nation to legal immigrants who follow the law, but we cannot welcome illegal immigrants whose first act in our country is to defy the law.

“Welcoming cities invite illegal immigrants with no intention of ever deporting them and they dedicate our tax dollars to providing services to them. Furthermore, welcoming cities are ripe for human traffickers to prey on what they know will be a large population of vulnerable individuals. 

“This is a dangerous practice that puts a further strain on local taxpayers and invites a growing criminal element – whether from the illegal immigrants themselves or from traffickers. 

“It is appalling to me that Lancaster City would openly celebrate such a decision. As public officials, our first responsibility is to protect public safety. I for one, respect the job our law enforcement officers perform on a daily basis and would never tie their hands in what they need to do to protect the public. 

“We are seeing the strain illegal border crossings and the influx of illegal immigrants is having on other cities across the country. Education, housing, health care and other government services are just a few ways in which illegal immigrants are putting huge pressure on an already strained economy. 

“Why would Lancaster City think trying to attract these people is a good idea? Do their residents want higher taxes? Is Lancaster City flush with taxpayer-paid-for resources and services that no one is currently using? Are local school districts asking for additional students? Do we have an excess of housing where these people can stay? These are the questions no one seems to be answering. 

“Although I do not represent Lancaster City, we would be fools to think these problems will only exist within city borders. The strain on resources and other problems will prevail across the entire county. 

“I strongly denounce this decision.” 

Representative Dave Zimmerman
99th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Tricia Lehman
717.772.9840 /