Mayor Michael Nutter will sign a long awaited executive order to modify the city's policy for complying with ICE hold detainers Wednesday morning, a move that local immigrants advocacy groups lobbied for passionately at a City Council hearing in March.
The mayor's spokesman, Mark McDonald, declined to comment on the executive order ahead of the signing. But immigrants advocacy groups are already claiming victory.
“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," said Erika Almiron, executive director of Juntos.
The Inquirer previously reported that Nutter intends to change the ICE holds policy to only apply to individuals charged with violent felonies.
“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,” said Mia-lia Kernan, a 1Love Movement organizer.
Currently, if Philadelphia police make an arrest, individuals with questionable citizenship status will be referred to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.
If ICE issues a hold detainer request, police hold the individual until ICE can review the case, sometimes leading to deportation.