By Molly Tack-Hooper, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Pennsylvania
Today Mayor Nutter signed an executive order directing Philadelphia detention facilities not to imprison people for the federal immigration authorities (“ICE”) without a judicial warrant. Because ICE does not routinely obtain judicial warrants to support its detainer requests (also known as “immigration holds” or “ICE holds”), the new policy will effectively put an end to ICE holds in Philadelphia.
The policy change is the result of sustained advocacy by immigrant rights groups, including the ACLU, to limit police cooperation with civil immigration authorities. The ACLU testified before City Council earlier this month that ICE routinely issues detainer requests without sufficient justification, and that honoring ICE detainer requests jeopardizes the safety and constitutional rights of everyone in the community.