Philadelphia’s new mayor, Jim Kenney, signed an executive order only hours after being sworn in that rescinds the city’s participation in a controversial program set up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Kenney’s order comes only a day after a series of ICE raids across the country that have been condemned by immigration activists.
“On his first day in office, newly elected Mayor Kenney reaffirmed that the City of Philadelphia is in fact the City of Brotherly Love,” Erika Almiron, director of the Philadelphia-based non-profit Juntos, said in a press release. “As ICE raids sew new levels of fear in our communities, Mayor Kenney is making sure local officials have nothing to do with it.”
Kenney’s move does away with Philadelphia’s participation in ICE’s Priority Enforcement Program (PEP), which was established by Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson in 2014 as a replacement for the Secure Communities program. The program uses biometric data to prioritize the deportation of detained immigrants who have been “convicted of an offense listed under the DHS civil immigration enforcement priorities, has intentionally participated in an organized criminal gang to further the illegal activity of the gang or poses a danger to national security,” per ICE’s website.