- The Philadelphia ICE field office is the most aggressive in the country. According to a recent investigation, the Philadelphia ICE office surpassed all 23 other regional offices in the country with “at-large” arrests of immigrants without criminal convictions at 64%, while the national level is 38%.
- ICE uses rouge tactics such as “collateral” arrests, or arrests of immigrants unexpectedly met by ICE as the agency seeks its targets, and has informally expanded their definition of “criminal alien” to include immigrants who had traffic tickets or committed minor infractions like loitering. ICE occasionally bypasses legality, according to interviews, sworn affidavits, and court filings, by trespassing, conducting warrantless searches, engaging in racial profiling, and fabricating evidence.
- In addition, the detention and deportation of many community members who have prior criminal convictions - for example, Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Lao community members - is a human rights abuse. These communities were displaced when the United States occupied Southeast Asian countries, creating a mass refugee crisis in the 1970s. Now, they are facing second-generation displacement by being forced back to the countries they originally fled. We must fight to stop the re-traumatization of our communities.
- Overly broad enforcement policies passed in the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigration Responsibility Act of 1996 created “one strike” laws, making deportation mandatory in many cases. Even when an immigration judge feels that deporting someone (a refugee, a mother, a community leader, etc.) would be unjust, her hands are often tied by these rigid laws.
- ICE has further ingrained a sense of distrust in the justice system and violated the right to due process in our immigrant communities. Many are now afraid of going to probation check-ins, showing up to court hearings, reporting crimes they see, or calling for help when they need it. This fear is a threat to the safety and sense of belonging for members of our community. This violence against our communities must end; no one should live in fear in a sanctuary city.
- End City interaction with Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE)
City Council Actions
- Pass a resolution that instructs that city agencies should not accept, seek out, nor honor contracts with ICE.
- Work with the Mayor to ensure that our city will only accept federal funds if these funds do not come with obligations to work with or support ICE.
- Work with the Mayor to ensure that our city will require public funds not be used for collaboration with ICE (through DHS, the Police Department, Courts & Parole, the School District, etc.)
- Commit to working with community-based stakeholders to explore what further power our city has to limit ICE’s presence and impact on our communities.