Emphasizing the fact that Obama’s tenure has seen too many deportations of people who have done nothing wrong, some local leaders are stepping in to say that enough is enough.
Yesterday, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter signed an executive order that changes the city’s cooperation with ICE on immigrant detainers, or ICE holds. Under the new policy, Philadelphia police will no longer hold immigrants for ICE officials (the standard practice) unless there are felony convictions involved. Immigration advocates are calling the new policy one of the most progressive in the country, and Mayor Nutter is hoping that the change improves public safety and helps rebuild the trust between police and the immigrant community.
As Mayor Nutter told CBS Philly:
Residents and others who are here will not need to fear that interacting with their government will end in a detainer for themselves or their loved ones…[this] protects innocent individuals from in effect being punished when doing the right thing and cooperating with us to find and arrest real criminals.
So far, more than a dozen cities, counties and states around the nation have already stopped collaborating with ICE to hold anyone who doesn’t pose a real threat to their community. But because rogue sheriffs like Maricopa County’s Joe Arpaio are still happy to work with ICE even in cases where the immigrants in question are not deportation priorities, federal action — via Congressional legislation or executive action — is still needed to protect families.