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Letter: Poloncarz not acting like a progressive leader

Letter: Poloncarz not acting like a progressive leader

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All over the country there is an attack on brown-skinned immigrants. The national Democratic Party and good-hearted people from other parties have taken a stance to support and protect immigrants. Locally our New York State Democratic Legislature has passed a “Green Light” bill that allows for undocumented immigrants to obtain a license.

Crystal Peoples-Stokes, who is the leader of the Democratic Caucus in the New York State Assembly, was a strong supporter of its passage. But here in Erie County leaders of our county government have joined forces to refuse to enforce this law.

County Clerk Mickey Kearns, who is a Democrat that functions as a Republican, said that he will not enforce this law and went as far as to sue the governor over the constitutionality of the bill. Republican County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw called for citizens to use Erie County’s whistleblower hotline to report undocumented immigrants trying to apply for a license. This way he could forward the information to ICE.

County Executive Mark Poloncarz, who is a Democratic Party leader, said, “There are many significant legal issues that exist with the law, including the question of its constitutionality and the necessity of ensuring non-citizens are prevented from voting. Ultimately I do not believe this law benefits the people of Erie County and I cannot support it.”

So even though Peoples-Stokes and the Democrats in the State Legislature support this bill, our Democratic county executive is siding with the Republicans. Now, I wouldn’t say Poloncarz is a closet Trump Democrat, but I would say he wants to be reelected.

This November, Poloncarz is going to need Trump Democratic voters in Erie County. So it makes sense he would take a position against immigrants in hopes of trying to keep those voters from going to Lynne Dixon.

The “politics as usual” mindset is harmful to our community, and it shows that he is not a real progressive leader.

Duncan Kirkwood


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