Philadelphia terminates ICE contract after activists storm city hall; DHS rips ‘misguided’ move


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Philadelphia has introduced it can finish a serious information-sharing contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), bowing to intense strain from activist teams and drawing fast condemnation from federal officers.

The transfer signifies that town is not going to renew a decade-long association to share real-time arrest data with ICE when it expires on the finish of August.

The knowledge, contained in Philadelphia’s Preliminary Arraignment Reporting System (PARS), alerts authorities when new arrests are made, and consists of arrestee’s full names, nations of origin, and Social Safety numbers. Whereas PARS doesn’t point out immigration standing, Democrats charged that ICE nonetheless abused the database to research potential immigration violations.

Anybody who interacts with legislation enforcement is entered into the database, together with those that are arrested, victims and witnesses, with some limits on what ICE officers can view.

“I can’t in good conscience enable the settlement to proceed,” Democratic Mayor Jim Kenney informed the Philadelphia Inquirer about Friday’s announcement. “We’re not going to supply them with data to allow them to exit and spherical individuals up.”

He added: “If I may abolish ICE, I might. However we will abolish this contract, and we’re.”

Town’s resolution comes after “Occupy ICE” protesters established a tent-filled encampment outdoors metropolis corridor and staged weeks of raucous demonstrations.


On Wednesday, greater than a dozen activists stormed metropolis corridor and blockaded an inner stairwell for greater than an hour after police rebuffed their try to rally straight outdoors the mayor’s workplace.

U.S. Homeland Safety spokeswoman Katie Waldman known as the choice irresponsible and mentioned town will find yourself “harboring prison aliens.”

“Sanctuary-city insurance policies make American communities like Philadelphia much less secure by placing the rights of prison aliens over the protection and safety of Americans,” Waldman mentioned. “Regardless of the misguided motion taken by Philadelphia right now, DHS will proceed to work to take away unlawful aliens and uphold public security.”

“Sanctuary-city insurance policies make American communities like Philadelphia much less secure.”

– DHS spokeswoman Katie Waldman

Kenney claimed immigration officers are wrongly utilizing the database to go to properties and workplaces of people that record overseas nations of origin and arresting different people who find themselves within the nation illegally however are in any other case not accused of another crimes.

However in an announcement to Fox Information, ICE officers reiterated that the company had not breached its settlement with Philadelphia in any manner, together with by partaking in racial profiling or accessing data with out town’s approval. They added that they had been “deeply upset” within the metropolis’s resolution, saying town had not pointed to any particular cases of alleged misconduct by ICE.

Two of three stakeholders within the contract — town, the district legal professional and town courts — needed to vote to finish it. District Legal professional Larry Krasner had mentioned this month he would oppose the contract’s renewal, saying it promotes oppressive practices.

Kenney mentioned the federal company’s actions have created concern and mistrust within the metropolis’s immigrant group.


The Trump administration has lengthy railed in opposition to sanctuary cities like Philadelphia, however its efforts to place phrases into observe have run into authorized hassle.

On Friday, a federal district courtroom decide dominated that the administration can’t withhold public security grants from Chicago to strain town to cease offering sanctuary to immigrants, saying the coverage amounted to unconstitutional coercion by the federal authorities. And final 12 months, a federal decide issued an injunction in opposition to Trump’s govt order denying federal funding to sanctuary cities on Tenth Modification grounds.

In Philadelphia, Kenney was videotaped final month dancing and singing, “We’re a sanctuary metropolis!” after an analogous courtroom win there.

ICE has beforehand mentioned it will concentrate on fast deportation for individuals within the nation illegally who had felony convictions or who had been suspected of felonies.

Calls to abolish the company — together with some from high Democrats and presidential hopefuls Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Sen. Elizabeth Warren — grew right into a frenzy after the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” unlawful immigration coverage resulted in additional separations of adults from accompanying minors on the border. Although Trump signed an govt order to finish the separations, reuniting some households stays a piece in progress.

Nonetheless, efforts to do away with ICE have fizzled since earlier this month, when the GOP-controlled Home known as a vote on a decision expressing help for the company.

The vote successfully dared Democrats to go on the report with opposition to the company. The measure handed, with a complete of 133 Democratic representatives voting “current” — amounting to a procedural refusal to take a place regardless of weeks of heated anti-ICE rhetoric from occasion leaders.

FILE - In this July 11, 2018 file photo, students and community activists rally at Northeastern University in Boston demanding the school cancel a multimillion-dollar research contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Northeastern was hired by ICE to research U.S. technology exports. Several colleges with ties to ICE are being pressured to split with the agency amid uproar over the separation of migrant families along the nation's border. (AP Photo/Sarah Betancourt, File)

Northeastern College college students in Boston protest the college’s contract with ICE.



As a sanctuary metropolis, Philadelphia had already restricted cooperation with immigration enforcement. It will not launch inmates to ICE with no judicial warrant.

Philadelphia entered into the contract in 2008, metropolis solicitor Marcel Pratt mentioned, and revised it in 2009 to defend witness and sufferer data from the company, in addition to to remove immigration standing.

In a termination letter despatched to ICE on Thursday, Pratt mentioned the contract “has created the false notion that town is prepared to be an extension of ICE.”

A number of faculties with ties to ICE are additionally being pressured to separate with the company. Earlier this month, college students and group activists marched at Northeastern College in Boston, demanding the college cancel a multimillion-dollar analysis contract with ICE. The varsity was employed by ICE to analysis U.S. know-how exports. 

The Related Press contributed to this report.

Gregg Re is an editor for Fox Information. Observe him on Twitter @gregg_re.

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