Keller responds to issues facing region

Two proposals have the attention of U.S. Rep. Fred Keller, R-Kreamer — the possibility of locating Immigration and Customs Enforcement offices on Williamsport’s Reach Road and an effort by the Maryland Air National Guard to conduct low-altitude training over Tioga County.

“Our office was first notified of the potential establishment of an ICE facility in Williamsport in April,” Michael Plummer, a staff member for Keller said in an emailed statement Monday night. “We immediately reached out to the agency and were informed that it was ‘unaware of any housing facility’ at that location. Its reported use as an administrative (not a detention) facility is consistent with our correspondence with ICE. Congressman Keller is committed to ensuring the safety of PA-12 residents while pursuing policies in Congress to stop the surge of illegal aliens to the southern border. We will continue to engage in constructive dialogue with ICE to ensure these twin priorities are sufficiently achieved.”

Keller, U.S. Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson, R-Howard, and U.S. Rep. Dan Meuser, R-Harvey’s Lake, also recently sent a letter to the Maryland Air National Guard about its efforts to establish low-altitude flight training over parts of Tioga and Potter counties, a news release said.

The letter asks the Maryland Air National Guard to host in-person hearings in the counties that would be affected so residents can weigh in on the proposal.

“Through community and economic development, conservation, and cultural investments, the region has become an outdoor recreation and tourism destination, resulting in a nearly $2 billion economic impact for the region,” the letter says, according to a recent news release. “The nature of the Maryland Air National Guard’s proposal could jeopardize this economic and environmental progress as well as the livelihoods of residents who rely on related industries. … Residents and stakeholders in these affected communities deserve the opportunity to fully understand this proposal and its impact. Therefore, we are asking that the Maryland Air National Guard hold in-person meetings to give residents the opportunity to learn about your proposal and ask questions of the presenters.”


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