Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney announced on Friday that the city has stopped allowing ICE to have access to law enforcement’s database of arrests.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on Friday that Kenney made the formal announcement Friday afternoon.
“I cannot in good conscience allow the agreement to continue,” Kenney told the paper.
“Kenney’s decision comes after several incidents that he says gave him reason to be concerned that the agency was using its access to the Preliminary Arraignment Reporting System, or PARS, in “inappropriate ways.”
The mayor’s office claimed that ICE would search the database to find Philadelphia residents born outside of the U.S. and target them for investigation, even if they had not been accused or convicted of a crime.”
Philadelphia ICE officials confirmed to the mayor earlier this month that their access to the arrest database could result in immigration actions against Philadelphians who have no criminal record.
The database which lists all of the arrests in the city doesn’t list immigration status. But it does list the nation of origin and social security number for each person arrested. And ICE has been using that information to go after immigrants. These aren’t violent criminals or gang members. These are people contributing to society and raising families.
Mayor Kenney has been a vocal supporter of sanctuary city policies. And he has been under great pressure from residents to end the city’s contract with ICE.
“City Solicitor Marcel Pratt wrote a letter notifying ICE officials of the decision to end the contract, in which he wrote that the partnership “has created the false perception that the city is willing to be an extension of ICE,” according to the Inquirer.”