Community Resolution for Westchester, NY

Document Date: September 14, 2004

PATRIOT ACT Resolution

Dated: August 2, 2004

WHEREAS, Westchester County recognizes the Constitution of the United States, including the Bill of Rights, to be the Supreme Law of the land, which all public servants are sworn to uphold, and

WHEREAS, Westchester County is proud of its long and distinguished tradition of protecting the civil rights and civil liberties of its people; and

WHEREAS, Westchester County has a diverse population whose contributions of our community are vital to its character and function; and

WHEREAS, Westchester County affirms that our freedom and rights, embodied in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, are protected not only by the might of our military forces by the strength and resolve of our democratic traditions and institutions freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, a free press, due process in judicial proceedings, free elections, and many others – that these inalienable rights are part of the very core beliefs that make us a great nation; and

WHEREAS, the tragedy of the terrorist actions of September 11, 2001, has caused our nation to assess what provisions are needed to ensure the safety and protection of all our residents in light of an on-going threat; and

WHEREAS, the Congress of the United States and the President of the United States passed into law the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act (U.S.A.P.A.T.R.LO.T. Act) in 2001, with many provisions that affect the delicate balance between providing greater security and safety in troubled times on one hand and insuring the civil rights and civil liberties of the population on the other hand; and

WHEREAS, Westchester County as a County government is charged with elements of implementation of the U.S.A.P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act and thereby affected by the specific provision of this Act; and

WHEREAS, the independent judicial review process is an important protection for individuals against illegal search and seizures;


That Westchester County urge the full implementation and federal funding of specific provisions of the U.S.A.P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act that are necessary and proper to ensure the safety and security of our people, including

  • Provisions for protecting the civil rights and civil liberties of all Americans (Sect. 102)
  • Provisions for increased border patrols along our border with Canada (Sect. 401)
  • Provisions to enlarge the jurisdiction of the Secret Service (Sect. 506)
  • Provisions to prohibit the harboring of terrorists (Sect. 803)
  • Provisions that extend jurisdiction over crimes committed at U.S. facilities overseas (Sect. 804)
  • Provisions to extend prosecution for money laundering (Sect. 1004)
  • Provisions to expand prosecution against fraudulent charitable solicitations (Sect. 1011)


That Westchester County urge the repeal of specific provisions of the U.S.A.P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act that unnecessarily violate individual freedoms and rights, are not essential to the safety and security of our people and do not require a judicial warrant to be issued, including

· Provisions that allow for secret searches (Sect. 213)
· Provisions that allow for warrant-less searches (Sect. 213
· Provisions that allow for obtaining library records of individuals (Sect. 215)
· Provisions that allow for extensive telephone and internet surveillance (Sect. 216)
· Provisions that allow for detaining individuals indefinitely (Sects. 411, 412)

IT IS FURTHER RESOLVED that this resolution be transmitted to our elected and senior appointed officials in the Executive and Legislative Branches of the Federal government, including President George W. Bush, Attorney General John Ashcroft, U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton, and U.S. Congress members Nita M. Lowey, Eliot L. Engel, and Sue Kelly.

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