Philadelphia Feb. 20, 2014 – Philadelphia City Council members María Quiñones Sánchez, Jannie Blackwell and Jim Kenney along with community organizations called for an end to compliance with non-mandatory U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) holds from federal deportation agents to local law enforcement. Council members also called on the Nutter Administration to work transparently with community organizations in drafting new policy.
The Philadelphia Family Unity Network (PFUN), a citywide community-led coalition, was among the organizations asking the City of Philadelphia to stop honoring ICE holds, which are requests from ICE to Philadelphia law enforcement to hold someone who should otherwise be released. Holds are issued solely because of immigration status, are not criminal warrants, and are not reviewed by a judge before they are issued. Advocates argue that such policies violate immigrants’ due process and human rights, increase racial profiling, waste precious city dollars, decrease public safety, and traumatize families and communities.
Video from the press conference, the committee hearing and interview with Public Safety Chair Curtis Jones, Jr., is below. For more photos of the event, see Council’s Flickr page.