In the latest controversy about Philadelphia’s sanctuary city policy, immigration authorities say Philadelphia police refused to hand an alleged child rapist over to federal authorities and then later released him on bail.
The man, a Dominican national charged as Josue Duran-Cortes, was arrested in July 2015 on charges of raping a minor. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials lodged a detainer, a request that Philadelphia police hand him over to immigration officers.
The city declined to honor the detainer, and Duran-Cortes [also called Winston Enrique Perez Pilarte in the ICE release] was released in November 2015 after posting $25,000 bail.
According to the ICE statement, federal authorities arrested him in September after their own investigation.
The statement quotes Tom Decker, field office director for ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations, as saying one of ICE’s best resources “is for the mayor to honor our detainers and requests for notification.”
“ICE is hopeful that the mayor will work with us to keep our community safe,” he said.
Mayor Jim Kenney spokeswoman Lauren Hitt said the ICE statement makes it clear Immigration can arrest its targets without the city’s help, and that routinely handing people over to Immigration authorities would jeopardize community cooperation and make it harder to solve crimes.