We Say “NO” to Revising Philadelphia’s ICE Hold Policy
November 20, 2015
Dear Mayor Nutter,
You have asked for our feedback about proposed changes to Philadelphia’s groundbreaking Executive Order rightly ending all collaboration between Philadelphia city officials and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). As grassroots community groups, advocates, social services providers, lawyers, unions, schools, immigrant leaders, and faith-based organizations, we reject any change to Philadelphia’s current ICE Hold policy. We strongly support and work towards an end to all deportations.
We hold a community-based vision of safety, healing, and justice. We are called by a shared belief that our community’s healing comes from addressing root causes of violence, that we need to end the criminalization of our communities and that all people, regardless of immigration status or criminal conviction should remain with their chosen communities. While we hold people accountable to their actions and crimes, we recognize that violence stems from trauma, from poverty caused by devastating economic policies, war, forced migration, systematically segregated and underfunded communities and racist immigration policies and a criminal justice system that separates and destroy families and communities.
In April 2014, you signed the ICE Hold Executive Order after years of organizing by immigrants and their allies. Philadelphia’s policy signaled a beacon of hope against deportation and family separation. Cities across the country looked to Philadelphia’s leadership as they enacted similar policies preventing wasting local resources on deportation.
Any change to the current Executive Order threatens not only your legacy but also Philadelphia’s standing as a progressive and welcoming city. It threatens trust gained between immigrant communities and law enforcement, destroys families and communities through increased deportations, wastes precious city resources, and goes contrary to our city’s values on reentry, rehabilitation, and second chances.
Mayor Nutter, with only six weeks left in office we implore you to choose family unity over politics and maintain Philadelphia’s ICE Hold policy as it is. We stand united against all deportations.
Philadelphia City Councilperson-Elect Helen Gym, Philadelphia City Councilwoman Maria Quinones Sanchez, 1Love Movement, ACTION United, Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus (San Francisco, CA), American Postal Workers Union, Asian Americans United, California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance (CIYJA), CASA, Casa San José, Caucus of Working Educators, Centro de Apoyo Comunitario, Chester County NOW, Church World Service, Coalition of African Communities (AFRICOM), CONCILIO, Esperanza, Every Mother is a Working Mother Network, Farmworker Legal Aid Clinic, FAVOR International, Inc., Folk Arts-Cultural Treasures Charter School, Freedom Inc, GALAEI, Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights, Global Women’s Strike, Grassroots Leadership, Greater Reading Immigration Project (GRIP), HIAS Pennsylvania, IHM Religious Women, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, Indochinese American Council, Jewish Voice for Peace – Philadelphia, Juntos, La Puerta Abierta/The Open Door, Labor Justice Radio, Make the Road PA, ManForward, Maypop Collective, Media Mobilizing Project, Migrant Power Movement, Mishkan Shalom, Montgomery County NOW Chapter, National Day Laborers Organizing Network (NDLON), National Immigration Law Center, Nationalities Services Center, National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance, New Sanctuary Coalition of NY, New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia, Not1More Deportation Campaign, Norris Square Neighborhood Project, Orange County Immigrant Youth United, Payday, Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition, Pennsylvania National Organization for Women, Philadelphia Coalition Advocating for Public Schools, Philadelphia Japanese American Citizens League, Philadelphia Jobs with Justice, Philadelphia Student Union, Philly Socialists, Providence Youth Student Movement, Sisters of IHM, Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, Son Revoltura, Southeast Asian Freedom Network (SEAFN), St. Gabriel Food Cupboard, St. William Parish, Teacher Action Group Philadelphia, The Shalom Center, Unitarian Society of Germantown, Unitarian Universalist PA Legislative Advocacy Network, UNITE! Here Local 274, United We Dream, Viatorians, Victim/Witness Services of South Philadelphia, We Belong Together, WeCount!, Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians, West Kensington Ministry, Youth United for Change, Keystone Progress, NWDC Resistance, POWER Interfaith, Congress of Day Laborers, New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice, National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), Law Office of Matthew J. Archambeault
Surin & Griffin, PC, Law Office of Christina Aborlleile, Law Office of David Kaplan, Suri Imm. Law Service PC, Best Immigration Law Group LLP
Law Office of David Kaplan, Community College of Philadelphia – Students Without Borders, Revolutionary Student Coordinating Committee, Women of Color in the Global Women’s Strike