The City of Brotherly Love doesn’t have much love for federal immigration officials, but they apparently love them some illegal aliens. The city’s new mayor announced this week that a contract which allows Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to access a database of municipal arrest information as it happens will not be renewed. He went on to complain that the agency was “misusing” the information to persecute people unjustly or something. (Associated Press)
Philadelphia will stop giving U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement access to a real-time arrest database, saying the agency is misusing the information to conduct sweeps in which otherwise law-abiding immigrants are also being caught up. Federal officials said the decision puts U.S. citizens in danger.
“We’re not going to provide them with information so they can go out and round people up,” Democratic Mayor Jim Kenney said Friday as he announced his decision to let a decade-old contract with ICE expire at the end of next month.
Kenney said immigration officers are wrongly using the database to go to homes and workplaces of people who list foreign countries of origin and arresting other people who are in the country illegally but are otherwise not accused of any crimes.
So Mayor Kenney feels that ICE is “misusing” the information in the database by using it to identify illegal aliens and go arrest them. In other words, they’re “misusing” the information by doing their jobs.
Also of interest is the choice of language the mayor employs here. He’s upset about ICE conducting, “sweeps in which otherwise law-abiding immigrants are also being caught up.” You know, if the only illegal act you’ve ever committed in your life was robbing a bank, we don’t hear people calling you an otherwise law-abiding bank robber and suggesting you should get to keep the money. While ICE would prefer to focus on the known criminal illegal aliens who are committing other crimes as well, simply being in the country without legal status is sufficient to get you deported. This is a message which clearly hasn’t sunk in for Philadelphia’s municipal leadership.
I’d also like to hear the mayor’s thoughts about the budget impact. ICE pays a fair amount of money to cities around the country for contracts such as these. Is Philadelphia really so fat with cash these days that they can turn their nose up at the cash? That would be a curious state of affairs considering they recently had to try implementing a self-destructive soda tax to close up loopholes in their budget. Of course, if they really want to go down this road I’m sure we can reassign those funds to more compliant jurisdictions who are interested in enforcing the law.
In the end, this is just another case of a sanctuary city looking for ways to make headlines and Democratic officials trying to burnish their #RESIST credentials with their liberal base. What they seem to fail to realize is that every criminal illegal alien who slips through the net because of their lack of cooperation represents a danger to the legal citizens of the city. Also, by making it harder for ICE to pick up illegal aliens who are already in police custody, they force ICE to do more sweeps in the community, picking up even more of those “otherwise law-abiding” aliens. But if the voters continue to tolerate it and keep electing the same crew to office year after year, then in the words of H.L. Mencken, I guess we all really do get the government we deserve.