Immigrants, activsts, and politicians are calling on Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter to reject a new data sharing program that links local police with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Immigrants, activists, and politicians are calling on Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter to reject a new data sharing program that links local police with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Last month the city joined the “Secure Communities” initiative, which automatically checks the fingerprints of people who’ve been arrested against federal databases for criminal convictions and immigration status.Listen: [audio: 090820lfimmig.mp3]
Philadelphian Javier Hernandez says he came to the event to support the community and his friends. The Mexico native says he finally became a citizen, but many of his friends are not. Hernandez says they’re afraid of the police, and he believes the Secure Communities program will only make the situation worse.
Hernandez: Let’s say there is a conflict in my household or in Jose’s or Hugo’s household. His wife is raped, someone gets hurt or injured – they will not call the police. Why? Because we we are afraid that if the police comes they will not only take the victim, him, his wife, they will take his entire family.
An ICE spokesman says crime victims, bystanders, and others should not be worried because the only fingerprints that will be run through the databases are those the police collect during the arrest and booking process.