PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION RESOLUTION OPPOSING HOUSE BILL NO. 1885, PRINTER'S NO. 3075, ON "SANCTUARY CITIES"
WHEREAS, the Philadelphia Bar Association, the oldest association of lawyers in the United States, is committed to advancing the fair and effective administration of justice;
WHEREAS, immigration enforcement is a job for federal immigration authorities and not for local law enforcement, whose job is to protect all residents, regardless of immigration status;
WHEREAS, local law enforcement collaboration with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) undermines community trust in the police, leading many immigrants to avoid coming forward to seek police protection, report crimes, and cooperate in investigations;
WHEREAS, there are many different kinds of immigration statuses under United States law, and determining an individual's immigration status can be extremely complicated, even for experts, and is not easily accomplished by laypeople not trained in immigration law;
WHEREAS, using local law enforcement agencies to enforce federal immigration laws invites law enforcement officers to engage in unconstitutional racial and ethnic profiling and to treat people perceived to be "foreign" differently;
WHEREAS, in light of the many problems created by local enforcement of immigration laws, many cities, counties, and states nationwide have taken steps to separate local policing from immigration enforcement;
WHEREAS, on December 17, 2015, the Philadelphia Bar Association passed a resolution opposing Senate Bill No. 997, Printer's No. 1384, on "Sanctuary Cities," and called on the Pennsylvania General Assembly to oppose "any other bill that would punish counties or municipalities for making the decision to disentangle local policing from enforcement of civil immigration laws";
WHEREAS, in January 2016, Philadelphia Mayor Kenney signed Executive Order No. 5-16, prohibiting City of Philadelphia law enforcement agencies from imprisoning anyone pursuant to an ICE detainer not accompanied by a judicial warrant or notifying ICE of a person's impending release unless the person is being released after conviction for a first or second degree felony involving violence;
WHEREAS, in the Pennsylvania General Assembly, Representative Martina White has introduced House Bill No. 1885, Printer's No. 3075, which, among other things, would:
- Require all local law enforcement officers to notify ICE whenever they have "reasonable cause to believe" that an individual under arrest is not lawfully present in the United States;
- Prohibit municipalities from placing restrictions on employees' ability to share information with federal immigration authorities about a person's immigration status; and
- Impose strict liability on "sanctuary cities" for injuries caused by crimes committed by non-citizens without lawful status in the United States;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Philadelphia Bar Association calls on members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly to oppose House Bill No. 1885, Printer's No. 3075, and any other bill that would punish counties or municipalities for making the decision to disentangle local policing from enforcement of civil immigration laws.
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Philadelphia Bar Association authorizes the Chancellor or the Chancellor's designee to communicate the content of this resolution to members of the General Assembly, the Governor, state and local public officials, other bar associations, and the public at large, and to take such other action as may be appropriate.
PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
ADOPTED: September 29, 2016