Press Conference with City Council, Citywide Coalition to Demand End to All ICE Holds

Press Conference with City Council, Community Organizations to Demand End to All ICE Holds

Immigrants and City Council members:

“Philadelphia police should not cooperate with non-mandatory requests from deportation agents!”

WHAT Press Conference: City of Philadelphia Must End All Cooperation with ICE Holds
WHO Councilman Kenney, Councilwoman Quinones Sanchez, 1Love Movement, JUNTOS, New Sanctuary Movement, Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition, and Victim/Witness Services of South Philadelphia
WHERE Philadelphia City Hall, City Council chambers
WHEN Thursday,  February 13, 9:00am – 9:30am
WHY Community organizations and City Council members call for an end to compliance with non-mandatory ICE holds from federal deportation agents to local law enforcement. We demand that the Mayor’s office work transparently with community organizations in drafting new policy. Current cooperation with ICE holds results in deportation, unjust family separation and traumatization, violation of due process, and increased racial profiling in Philadelphia.
SPEAKERS –          Miguel Andrade, JUNTOS-          Blanca Pacheco, New Sanctuary Movement

–          Cristobal Valencia, JUNTOS member

–          Councilwoman Maria Quinones Sanchez

–          Councilman James Kenney


Philadelphia—On Thursday, February 13, community organizations and City Council members hold a press conference to call for an immediate end to ICE holds and for the Nutter administration to work with community groups to create new local immigration policy. ICE holds are non-mandatory requests from the federal deportation office to local Philadelphia law enforcement to hold someone who should otherwise be released. Holds are issued solely because of immigration status, are not criminal warrants, and are not reviewed by a judge before they are issued. This violates due process and human rights, traumatizes families and communities, increases racial profiling, wastes precious city dollars, and decreases public safety.

We call for Mayor Nutter to pass an executive order ending compliance with all ICE holds, regardless of immigration status, economic status, country of origin, marital status, gender identity and history with the criminal legal system. Community organizations must be engaged in the creation of a new ICE hold policy.  We also celebrate Philadelphia City Council’s March 3 public hearing on the collaboration between the Philadelphia Police Department and ICE. This is a critical first step to ending local deportation programs.

Immigrants must have a place at the negotiation table with the Nutter Administration to express how ICE holds devastate our families and communities every day and to create a better policy,” says New Sanctuary Movement community organizer Blanca Pacheco. “We have to end this toxic relationship between police and ICE for everybody, regardless of where they’re from or whether they have been involved in the criminal legal system. Ending ICE holds is a basic human right respected by over 20 localities throughout the U.S. – it’s time for Philadelphia to start respecting the human rights of non-citizens.”

This press conference is supported by a diverse group of grassroots organizations, advocates, faith based groups, and City Council members working for justice for all Philadelphia residents regardless of immigration status.

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Immigrant led Community Organizing

Our staff manages our campaigns and programs while our members join our working committees to inform our programming, choose our campaigns, and plan our strategies to win. Through conversation and listening, our members and the community on the ground are the ones directing the organization. When people reach out to NSM, they connect with someone who speaks their language, looks like them, and is committed to empowering immigrant communities because they understand their journey and struggle. At NSM, our communities see their peers guiding our mission, creating trust, and allowing members to recognize NSM as an immigrant-led organization.
NSM works to lift the skills of the affected community and dismantle systems of oppression while promoting systems of mutual support, collective liberation, and respect for all people, which is why we provide interpretation services, respect childcare needs, schedule our sessions during times that work best for members who work multiple jobs or cannot meet in person, and allow members to inform us about their individual needs before meetings.
The community leads our work at every level to eliminate unnecessary barriers and meet the varied needs of our members.

Leadership Development

Our Leadership Development Program is a step in recruiting and training new leaders and training. The program blends the skills and experiences members bring from their home countries with NSM’s signature faith-rooted and anti-racist organizing model.

We have curricula for each level of membership, which includes workshops on the history of detention, community organizing, nonviolent protest, campaign strategy, and ongoing anti-racism training. Our programming encourages immigrant leaders to find their voice, understand the power of collective resistance, and join a community of immigrant leaders fighting for transformational systemic changes rooted in social and economic justice.

Leading this initiative is Bertha Murcia, one of NSM's Community Organizers. She is an alumna of NSM’s Promotoras de Justicia immigrant leadership program and oversees member engagement.

Build Community Power

NSM’s organizing efforts emphasize community building, inviting people to new roles, deepening Black and Brown solidarity, long-term leadership development, and impactful campaigns.

We build a base of people from our 33 congregations and Accompaniment Team and direct that people-power to fight specific campaigns. Staff members work with immigrant members to choose our campaigns, guide our strategies, lead events, and ensure our work is focused on meeting the needs of Philadelphia’s various immigrant communities.

Having a hands-on role in changing policy allows our members to gain a sense of empowerment, confidence, and self-respect. Empowering immigrants of color to organize collectively is part of NSM’s long haul work to create a people-powered movement for immigrant justice.