Philadelphia City Council Members Object to ICE Practices

Prior to the February 20th Philadelphia City Council meeting, several council members met with immigration advocates, urging the city to stop honoring immigration “holds” on those in police custody. These administrative “holds” are issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), requesting that local police keep someone up to 48 additional hours to facilitate transfer to federal custody. The Jewish community in Philadelphia has gotten involved in this issue, arguing that ICE holds are detrimental to the immigrant community as well as society at large since they detract resources from other law enforcement priorities. A recent HIAS Pennsylvania statement argues that “ICE holds terrorize immigrant communities, making residents fearful of calling police to report crimes, and provide cover for racial profiling.” In addition, the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia and its Jewish Community Relations Council recently joined the Religious Leaders Council of Greater Philadelphia in a statement entitled “Religiously Diverse, United for Immigration Reform.” The statement outlines one of the main facets of immigration reform as protecting the “human rights of immigrants and those detained, providing each one with access to due process under the law, including legal representation.”