As of now, there’s no chance that Mayor Jim Kenney will reverse his decision on establishing Philadelphia as a sanctuary city, no matter the criticism he, or the idea itself, receives. Sanctuary cities are widely considered safe spaces for those in the country illegally; local authorities in Philadelphia and elsewhere, in the absence of a warrant, won’t cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers; also, Philadelphia police aren’t permitted to detain someone for immigration reasons alone.
The concept of sanctuary cities doesn’t exist without its critics, Mr. Donald Trump, the controversial Republican presidential nominee who made the deportation of 11 million illegal aliens a cornerstone of his campaign but who’s now softening his approach, is chief among them.
This summer, Republicans not only joined Mr. Trump in denouncing sanctuary cities, but attempted to get a bill through Congress that would force cities like Philadelphia to, according to the New York Post, cooperate with the federal government on deportations of illegal immigrants who commit crimes – the bill was blocked by Senate Democrats.
And being a sanctuary city, indeed, comes with consequences. Though Mayor Kenney contends the federal government is only considering withholding federal dollars from Philadelphia and other locales because of their statuses, numerous reports cite that the Obama Administration in July adopted new policies that will deny federal law enforcement grants to sanctuary cities. Whether or not the consequences are fully or currently in effect, the Mayor remains committed to keeping Philadelphia a sanctuary city.
The Philadelphia Inquirer today reported that three undocumented immigrants were arrested by I.C.E this month after they were released by local authorities, despite detainers lodged against them. For the Mayor – who is accused by Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey of enacting a particularly extreme sanctuary city policy that prevents local law enforcement from sharing nearly all types of information with federal immigration officials, even in the cases of violent crime and suspected terrorism – those arrests prove “they can do their jobs without us having to do if for them.”
“For them to ask us, with minimal resources, to do their job for them is unreasonable,” said Mayor Kenney in an exclusive interview today with Techbook Online.
The Mayor told me he’s simply abiding by the Constitution, which doesn’t allow citizens to be held against their will without a warrant.
“We want to keep people safe, and not have them locked up without a warrant… that’s pretty basic constitutional law,” Mayor Kenney argued.
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Thanks for reading. Until next time, I’m Flood the Drummer® & I’m Drumming for JUSTICE!™
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