Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition

City of Philadelphia Signs Historic Executive Order Ending all ICE Holds

Apr 16 2014    Press Center

Press Contacts:
Erika Almiron, Juntos, 215-586-1776
Mia-lia Kiernan, 1Love Movement, 215-313-9298
Nicole Kligerman, New Sanctuary Movement, 484-437-9676
Sundrop Carter, Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition, 610-217-8222
Alison Sprague, Victim/Witness Services of South Philadelphia, 215-551-3360

City of Philadelphia Signs Historic Executive Order Ending all ICE Holds

Philadelphia – On Wednesday, April 16th, Mayor Nutter will sign an Executive Order essentially ending all ICE holds in the City of Philadelphia. ICE holds are non-mandatory requests from the federal deportation office to local Philadelphia law enforcement to hold someone who should otherwise be released. The signing ceremony will take place at 11am on the second floor of City Hall.

Members of the citywide coalition, the Philadelphia Family Unity Network (PFUN), will be in attendance during this historic victory for the immigrant community. The passage of this executive order is representative of almost a decade of organizing, coalition building, and hard work by community groups and leaders from across Philadelphia against immoral deportation policies.

As the most progressive policy passed to date in the country on ending local enforcement of ICE holds, the passage of this order puts Philadelphia in the vanguard of local governments seeking to end police ICE collaboration.

The signing of this executive order marks a proud moment for the city of Philadelphia and for the PFUN coalition that led the campaign against the enforcement of ICE holds. “We have worked for years building strength and solidarity across communities, and fought for the rights of all individuals to remain in their communities, including our members and our loved ones who are currently or formerly incarcerated,” said Natasha Kelemen, Executive Director of Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition.

“We are incredibly proud to say that we will now have one of the most progressive policies in the country which, in practice, will end the use of ICE Holds in our city. As we continue to work with our local and national allies to end deportations and stop the unjust practice of police and ICE collaboration, we are also proud that Philadelphia is leading the way on how to begin dismantling the deportation machine and in becoming a truly welcoming city for our communities,” said Executive Director of Juntos, Erika Almiron.

“Enacting this policy sends a clear message that Philadelphia will not participate in a process of backchanneling our family, friends and neighbors, into a mass deportation effort without due process and accountability, and affirms our City’s strong commitment to second chances, rehabilitation and reintegration of all residents who have been formerly incarcerated,” said Mia-lia Kernan, National Organizer of 1Love Movement.

“This policy will begin to help build trust between community members and the Philadelphia police, making our communities safer and more secure,”said Alison Sprague, Executive Director of Victim/Witness Services of South Philadelphia.

Despite a major win against the separation of families and due process violations, the fight to end all deportations continues. “On this historic day, we also grieve for the many community members who are not here today because they are detained or have been deported through ICE holds and other mechanisms of mass deportation. We honor the contributions that our missing loved ones made to the Philadelphia community and we will continue to organize to keep all Philadelphia families together,” said Gerardo Flores, of New Sanctuary Movement.

PFUN looks forward to working with the City of Philadelphia to assure that this historic policy is effectively implemented and that not one more ICE hold is enforced. Conversations on city wide trainings for local law enforcement and departments within the criminal justice have already begun.

PFUN members: 1Love Movement, Juntos, New Sanctuary Movement, the Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition, and Victim/Witness Services of South Philadelphia

PFUN supporters: ACANA, ACLU PA, Asian Americans United, AFRICOM, Boat People SOS Delaware Valley, Coalition of Labor Union Women, Concilio, Congreso de Latinos Unidos, The Council on American Islamic Relations, Decarcerate PA, FAVOR International, HIAS Pennsylvania, Media Mobilizing Project, National Day Laborers Organizing Network, Philadelphia Student Union, Women Against Abuse Legal Center and Women Organized Against Rape.