Philadelphia’s chief law enforcement officer today took to the lectern to remind undocumented immigrants that they will be protected if they come forth to testify or report crimes.
District Attorney Larry Krasner on Wednesday morning spoke English and Spanish when declaring he’d grant sanctuary to undocumented victims and witnesses of crime who could assist in advancing a case but would be deterred by fear of deportation.
Mr. Krasner’s announcement comes two-weeks after Attorney General Jeff Sessions warned asylum seekers, who are the victims of domestic and/or gang violence, that they will neither be protected nor offered entry into the United States. (LISTEN to Krasner’s announcement via Apple Podcasts or Anchor!)
“We have an attorney general and a president who want women to know that if they are victims of domestic violence, he will not protect them,” asserted Mr. Krasner.
The Trump Administration’s tone and actions regarding immigration has had a chilling effect on the city’s undocumented population, the DA’s office said.
Mr. Adam Geer is one of the Assistant Supervisors of the Municipal Court Unit, which handles preliminary hearings and misdemeanor matters. Speaking exclusively to Techbook Online following the 11am press conference, Mr. Geer was unable to give firm statistics on the undocumented immigrants who have or have not come forward since Mr. Donald J. Trump assumed his position as commander-in-chief. But he did say those persons are very likely to never appear in court.
“It’s exceedingly difficult to even make contact with them… we feel that this has a lot to do with the perception of what’s happening in this country and what will happen if they come forward,” Mr. Geer said.
Today, Mr. Krasner revealed that he had a talk with Mayor Jim Kenney, a Democrat who battled and defeated the Trump Administration over Philadelphia’s sanctuary city status, and they agreed that over the last two-years, there’s been a decline in crimes reported by undocumented immigrants.
“Unfortunately, that makes sense. These kinds of policies have created a class of people who are afraid to come forward and therefore they will be victimized and targeted by criminals who are looking for victims who can’t stand-up for themselves,” the DA stated.
The press conference this morning was designed to be a sign of hope to undocumented immigrants who the district attorney here says are feeling attacked every day. Mr. Krasner was joined by mostly women who provide services to survivors of domestic abuse. They encouraged undocumented victims to come out of the shadows and report the crimes against them, despite the hostile tone from Washington, D.C.
“When the attorney general of the United States says anyone seeking asylum will not be protected and will they be deported, there’s little doubt as to why we are seeing more and more people who are fearful of deportation not coming to court. Those of us here today are standing together to encourage undocumented victims of domestic violence to come forward and report crimes without fear of deportation. This District Attorney’s office will not turn people over to the United States government,” Mr. Krasner stated.
Thanks for reading! Until next time, I’m Flood the Drummer® and I’m Drumming for Justice!™
Photo courtesy of the author.