Children who have been affected by deportation participated in a New Sanctuary Movement rally against Philadelphia Police collaboration with federal immigration enforcement. Photo by Harvey Finkle, courtesy of New Sanctuary Movement.
Mayor Nutter will likely sign an executive order that would change the city’s policy on how federal immigration enforcement can use city arrest data, the Inquirer reported. The current policy allows Immigration and Customs Enforcement to access the city’s real-time arrest database and ask the police to detain arrested individuals in order for ICE to begin deportation proceedings.
Under the new policy, ICE would only be allowed to ask police to hold those charged with first- or second-degree felonies involving violence. But the updated policy would still allow ICE nearly full access to the city’s real-time arrest database, according to sources familiar with the proposed executive order.
After a series of protests this past summer and fall, the issue has recently come to a head. Working with advocates, four members of City Council called on the mayor Friday to end the city’s policy on these so-called “ICE holds.” City Council will also hold a public hearing on the issue on March 3.
Nutter spokesman Mark McDonald said that Nutter planned to sign an order shortly but would not go into detail about what the order said.
Under the new policy, ICE would still be able to access the city’s arrest database but it would not be able to ask cops to hold certain arrested individuals.
Is that problematic?
Possibly, said Nicole Kligerman, an organizer with immigrant rights group New Sanctuary Movement.
If ICE still has access to the city’s arrest database, the number of ICE home raids could rise. It’s something that’s happened in other cities that have implemented a similar policy, she said, as ICE officers work to fulfill their deportation quotas.
Advocates previously lobbied the City of Philadelphia to change its data-sharing policy with ICE but were unsuccessful, so they dropped that issue and decided to focus on ICE holds, Kligerman said.
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