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Philadelphia just took another step to hinder ICE agents: 'Such practices sow fear and distrust

Philadelphia will no longer give ICE access to its arrest database beginning Aug. 31. (Saul Loeb/Getty Images)

Philadelphia, a city already on unfriendly terms with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, is taking another step to further hinder the federal agency's ability to operate, CBS News reported.

Mayor Jim Kenney announced Friday that the city would no longer grant ICE access to its real-time arrest database, saying that the agency has abused it to target illegal immigrants who aren't committing any other crimes.

"Such practices sow fear and distrust in Philadelphia's great immigrant community, and make it more difficult for our police department to solve crimes," Kenney said, according to KYW-TV. "I cannot in good conscience allow the agreement to continue."

Why are they doing this?

To this point, ICE has had access to a database that includes anyone who interacts with law enforcement. That includes victims, witnesses, and people who are arrested.

Kenney said recent discussions with ICE have led him to believe ICE is using that database to target foreign residents, even if they don't know anything about their immigration status.

The mayor said these arrests have created a perception that the city is an "extension of ICE," so he knew he needed to end the city's contract with ICE once it expires at the end of August.

"For some time now, we have been concerned that ICE uses [the Preliminary Arraignment Reporting System] in inappropriate ways, including to conduct investigations that result in immigration enforcement against law-abiding Philadelphia residents," Kenney said in a statement.

Are there any consequences?

Philadelphia has already established itself as a "sanctuary city" that attempts to limit its cooperation with ICE. Attempts by the Trump administration to punish the city by cutting funding have been blocked in court so far.

A federal judge ruled last month that Philadelphia's policies regarding cooperation with ICE are "reasonable and appropriate," and that the conditions the Trump administration wanted to place on the city to continue receiving grants were unconstitutional.

The administration wanted to require Philadelphia to allow ICE agents access to prisons, provide advanced notice of inmates' release, and prohibit restrictions on disclosing a person's immigration status.

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