MAYOR NUTTER is scheduled to meet behind closed doors today with U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson to discuss preparations for the upcoming papal visit to the city, the mayor's spokesman said yesterday.
Nutter and Johnson may also discuss security details related to the next Democratic National Convention that is scheduled to take place here in 2016 after the mayor leaves office, and the city's policy regarding U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer requests, spokesman Mark McDonald said.
Homeland Security is taking the lead in coordinating security for the Sept. 26-27 visit of Pope Francis during the World Meeting of Families, which is expected to draw more than a million participants.
Held every three years in a different city, the event is billed as the world's largest gathering of Catholic families and has been designated a National Special Security Event by Homeland Security.
During city budget hearings before City Council yesterday, an official from Nutter's administration said the city is hoping to persuade the feds to also designate the Democratic National Convention in July 2016 as a National Special Security Event, which would entitle the city to receive nearly $50 million to cover security costs.
Because ICE is part of the Homeland Security Department, it is likely that Nutter and Johnson will discuss the city's stance on not fully cooperating with the federal agency, McDonald said.
Nutter last year signed an executive order that put limits on when city police can hold and turn over undocumented immigrants to ICE.
The Nutter administration had previously stopped including in city databases identifying information related to undocumented immigrants who are victims or witnesses to crimes to encourage them to cooperate with police investigations, McDonald said.