MAYOR NUTTER is expected to sign an executive order tomorrow that will significantly limit collaboration between Philadelphia police and federal immigration authorities.
The order is expected to preclude police from honoring detainer requests by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement except in cases where a person is convicted of a first- or second-degree felony involving violence, and only when ICE secures a warrant to support the detainer.
Michael Resnick, the city's director of public safety, had testified about that pending change at a City Council hearing last month. He did not return a call for comment late yesterday afternoon.
Mayoral spokesman Mark McDonald would not comment yesterday on whether the mayor is going to sign the order tomorrow.
ICE detainers or "holds" are requests by federal immigration authorities for police to hold a person who was detained for an alleged crime for up to an additional 48 hours. That would allow ICE to take the person - if suspected of being an undocumented immigrant or a noncitizen - into their custody for possible deportation.
Immigrant-rights advocates, who have worked for years to end ICE holds, hailed the expected signing as a victory. "Historic Signing Ceremony to End ICE Holds!" exclaimed a headline yesterday in an email by the New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia announcing tomorrow's signing event.
Nicole Kligerman, a community organizer with the interfaith group, said the executive order is a "huge step forward" for welcoming immigrant families in the city. She said advocates believe the order is "one of the most progressive in the country."
Erika Almiron, executive director of Juntos, the South Philadelphia Latino-advocacy group, said the order is important nationally.
"Philadelphia is in the vanguard of showing how to start ending the deportations of our families and our community members, and is a great example at the national level and to showing President Obama what he can do to end deportations," Almiron said. The city, as the nation's fifth-largest, "can be the tipping point for the national dialogue."