Mayor Nutter signs an executive order thawing ICE, with Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell by his right side. SJ Dodgson. MJoTA 2014 v8n1 p0416
After 3 days of warm spring weather, 80oF on April 15, Philadelphia went into a deep freeze on April 16 and the mayor of Philadelphia told ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) they need to thaw out in Philadelphia.
The text of the executive order that Mayor Nutter can be seen signing:
"POLICY REGARDING US IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT AGENCY DETAINER REQUESTS
WHEREAS, immigrants make significant contributions to every facet of The City of Philadelphia's economic, educational and cultural life; and
WHEREAS, the purpose of detainer requests by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) under its "Secure Communities" program is to enhance ICE's ability to track and apprehend dangerous criminals who are in the country illegally; and
WHEREAS, the Secure Communities program shifts the burden of federal civil immigration enforcement onto local law enforcement, including shifting costs for detention in local custody who would otherwise be released; and
WHEREAS, a growing number of jurisdictions, including New York City, Cook County, Illinois, Newark and the State of California, have adopted policies of refusing ICE detainer requests when the individual in detention does not pose a serious risk to public safety;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Michael A Nutter, mayor of the City of Philadelphia, by the powers vested in me by the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter, do hereby order as follows:
Section 1. No person in the custody of the City who otherwise would be released from custody shall be detained pursuant to an ICE civil immigration detainer request pursuant to 8 CFR #287.7, nor shall notice of his or her pending release be provided, unless such person is being released after conviction for a first or second degree felony involving violence and the detainer is supported by a judicial warrant.
Section 2. The police commissioner, the superintendent of prisons and all other relevant officials of the city are hereby required to take appropriate action to implement this order.
Out-of-status immigrants. SJ Dodgson MJoTA 2014 v8n1 p0416
I have been an immigrant several times. Born in England to an English father, and Irish mother (I am entitled to both British and Irish passports) I was taken to Northern Ireland at 5, New Zealand at 6, Australia at 9. After I was ceremonially awarded my PhD, lost an election to New South Wales parliament and turned 27 in the same week, I flew to California on my way to Philadelphia for what I thought was a term-limited job as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania. For reasons I do not understand, not at all, I have stayed in and near Philadelphia, ducking out to briefly become an immigrant in Germany, and over the past 8 years, the most profound immigration of all, an immigration in place to African communities all over the world, to whom I have pledged my last breath.
So how does Mayor Nutter's signing this Executive Order affect me?
This past week I have focused on the terrible miscarriage of justice that has put Vickson and Lorpu Korlewala behind bars on April 2nd, which is now 14 days. If they are convicted of a felony, they can lose their US citizenship and be deported. This executive order will not alter their fates.
However, I sat through criminal proceedings in 2 days in Philadelphia Justice Center, with other supporters of the Korlewalas, and on Tuesday, over 3 hours, we watched more than 6 video conferences of prisoners being extradited from their home counties all over New Jersey to Philadelphia.
Before this executive order, if any of them did not have the right to an American passport, ICE would be informed and whether they were found guilty or not, could have been deported to countries of birth, Even if the last time they were there was when they were 3 months old.
This is why I am an American citizen. More than once, an angry ex-husband has accused me falsely, and I was under threat for deportation. To England. Where I have not lived since I was 5. England may be a great country, but my greatest ties are in the graveyards, and I cannot imagine anything worse than being shackled, stuck on a plane and landing in London with nothing.