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ICE Agents Detain Suspected Undocumented Immigrants In Raids

Source: John Moore / Getty

Mayor Kenney won’t renew a controversial city contract that allows federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to access a key law-enforcement database, known as PARS, and use that information against undocumented but otherwise law-abiding immigrants in Philadelphia.

“I cannot in good conscience allow the agreement to continue,” the mayor said.

The decision, announced Friday, follows months of consultation with community groups, lawyers, and immigrant advocates, and weeks of tumultuous protests by anti-ICE demonstrators, who on Wednesday took over and held a City Hall stairway.

ICE officials criticized the city’s action as “needlessly compromising public safety,” and Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman Katie Waldman called it  “an irresponsible decision that results in the city harboring criminal aliens.”

“Sanctuary city policies make American communities like Philadelphia less safe by putting the rights of criminal aliens over the safety and security of American citizens,” she said in a statement. “Despite the misguided action taken by Philadelphia today, DHS will continue to work to remove illegal aliens and uphold public safety.”

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