Much contention has grown out of the Trump Administration’s immigration agenda, wherein undocumented immigrants are being sent back to their countries of origin due to the illegally of their presence in the U.S. Although a lot of this occurs at the southern border, immigration agents are descending on American cities in the effort to decrease the amount of undocumented immigrants in the homeland, which currently totals around 11 million.
When attempting to apprehend those here in the country illegally, federal agents need the cooperation of local law enforcement to gather the data used to locate individuals. Although police need probable cause to engage someone in a traffic stop or a warrant to enter one’s home, immigration authorities are looking to circumvent the process to streamline arrests. This, however, is not taken kindly in many localities around the country.
Big city Democrat mayors are refusing access to citizen data requested by federal officers from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as part of the Trump Administration’s plan – the President’s campaign pledge – to crack down on illegal immigration. Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney is now the latest elected official to bar ICE agents from viewing real-time arrest data. He is also accusing the agency of “misusing” the information to target people that are in the country illegally.
The real contention behind the mayor’s disgruntlement is that undocumented immigrants are behind taken into custody by ICE who are not otherwise accused of any crimes. Due to this, Philadelphia will not renew its contract with ICE, which expires at the end of August, according to a report from AP.
Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said the city is ending their relationship with the federal agency because it “promotes oppressive practices,” and has created “fear and distrust” among the city’s immigrant population. Mayor Kenney says it is more difficult for police to partner with the community to solve crimes.
Philadelphia’s designation as a sanctuary city means that inmates will not be released to ICE without a judicial warrant, according to the report. This is causing a rough relationship with the Trump Administration as White House officials are threatening to cut funding to the city over obstructing federal investigations.
With access to police records, Kenney said ICE has been arresting otherwise law-abiding residents for immigration violations, targeting foreign-born residents for federal investigation, even though there is no information on their immigration status.
ICE officials have previously said the agency would focus on the immediate deportation for people living in the country illegally who had felony convictions or who were suspected of felonies, but have gone against the notion, taking on a more aggressive agenda. The situation in Philadelphia is keeping with the trend of liberal cities that have bucked the system in kicking out federal law enforcement to resist the White House’s agenda of fully enforcing immigration laws in America.