Philadelphia, April 16, 2014– Mayor Michael A. Nutter, joined by members of City Council and community groups, signed an executive order amending the City of Philadelphia’s policy regarding U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer requests.
“Philadelphia is a global, welcoming city. We welcome immigrants from all over the world to live, work, visit and raise their families here,” said Mayor Nutter. “Initially, the purpose of local municipality ICE detainers and the Secure Communities program was to enhance the federal government’s ability to apprehend dangerous criminals who enter the country illegally. But in practice, many of those being detained and deported have no criminal background or have only committed misdemeanors. As a result of overly aggressive use of these detainers, there has been a negative impact on some immigrants who will not report crimes to the police, don’t want to be witnesses, and suffer accordingly.
“The Nutter Administration has always placed limitations on the City’s agreement with ICE because of this reality. Today’s Executive Order takes our position one step further because ICE enforcement actions have become a public safety issue. The Philadelphia Police Department relies on information gathered from residents to solve crime and protect the safety of our communities, and without a significant level of trust, citizens do not talk to the police. Every Philadelphian has a right to feel safe and protected and I believe the new policy established by this Executive Order will promote safety because residents will not need to fear that interacting with their government will result in a detainer for themselves or their loved ones.”
The following are the provisions in the Executive Order that effectively change the City’s policy:
Section 1. No person in the custody of the City who otherwise would be released from custody shall be detained pursuant to an ICE civil immigration detainer request pursuant to
8 C.F.R. § 287.7, nor shall notice of his or her pending release be provided, unless such person is being released after conviction for a first or second degree felony involving violence and the detainer is supported by a judicial warrant.
Section 2. The Police Commissioner, the Superintendent of Prisons and all other relevant officials of the City are hereby required to take appropriate action to implement this order.