Kenney reverses city policy on cooperating with immigration agents

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 Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney signs several executive orders yesterday just hours after taking the oath of office. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney signs several executive orders yesterday just hours after taking the oath of office. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Just hours after taking office, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney signed several executive orders. One rescinds a move made by former Mayor Michael Nutter in the final days of his administration.

 

The order will end city cooperation with federal Immigration officials in most cases when suspects in Philadelphia custody are illegal immigrants.  And Mayor Kenney wants those Immigration and Customs Enforcement — or ICE — officials to explain to people in the neighborhoods why the new program is not a threat.

“You can’t expect people to understand something  and embrace something when their only experience has been not wanting to be seen by anyone and winding up being roused and rounded up and held,” Kenney said.

Kenney was praised by the group Juntos, who came out against the Nutter administration changes to the city’s position.  Erika Almiron of the group says Kenney has stood up for the rights of the immigrant community through his move.

Kenney also signed executive orders re-establishing several offices — including the office of the Inspector General — on his first day on the job.

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