FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Joe DeFelice, Executive Director
Phone: 215-756-4158 (mobile)
Philadelphia Republican Party Reaffirms Its Condemnation of Philadelphia as a Sanctuary City
Philadelphia, PA July 10, 2015: In light of the recent murder in San Francisco of a woman by an illegal immigrant with prior felony convictions, the Philadelphia Republican Party reaffirmed its condemnation of our City acting as one of these so-called “sanctuary cities” where Philadelphia will no longer hold illegal immigrants for Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainers. In a statement after the signing of Mayor Nutter’s Executive Order last year, 27th Ward Leader and former City Council Candidate Matt Wolfe stated, “These immigration issues are issues that need to be dealt with on a federal level,” says Wolfe, “whether Mayor Nutter agrees or disagrees with federal law, he must facilitate it being obeyed. So long as those laws are in place they need to be enforced, and the city needs to cooperate with our federal government.”
Today, our candidate for Mayor, Melissa Murray Bailey, released the following statement:
I am outraged by the recent shooting of Kathryn Steinle in San Francisco and my deepest sympathies go out to her family and friends. The worst part about it is that it is a crime that could be prevented. We have to do a better job protecting people.
By declaring Philadelphia a sanctuary city and not detaining illegal immigrants who have been convicted of a crime, we are putting the citizens of Philadelphia at risk. In fact, over one third of federal crimes committed in 2014 were committed by people who are in the US illegally.
To be clear, I am not opposed to immigration. As a country, I want us to adopt clear, fair, and humane immigration policies. As a parent, I can’t fault people trying to provide a better life for their family. Washington has dragged its feet far too long in dealing with this issue leading some cities, including Philadelphia, to determine themselves safe cities in a misguided attempt to help illegal immigrants. Unfortunately in San Francisco it backfired. We cannot wait for something similar to happen in Philadelphia. We cannot allow illegal immigrants who commit violent crimes to stay in our city and by allowing them to, we are actually saying come to Philadelphia, because even if you are in the country illegally and committing crimes there is a place for you here.
This is unacceptable because it puts every Philadelphian at risk and makes it more difficult for immigrants who are not committing crimes to make a home in our country.
The city is not saying that the federal detainers are illegal. The city is just refusing to cooperate with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) under its “Secure Communities” program. That program enhances ICE’s ability to track and apprehend dangerous criminals who are in this country illegally. All the city has to do to cooperate is notify ICE when one of these illegal aliens is going to be released. By refusing to do so the city puts its citizens at risk, as we have seen in San Francisco. Not only do those released pose a threat, but the policy also encourages illegal aliens, particularly those with criminal tendencies, to relocate in Philadelphia from other jurisdictions.
The city’s policy acknowledges that “Immigrants make significant contributions to every facet of The City of Philadelphia’s economic, educational and cultural life.” That is, of course, true. That being said, citizens of all sorts contribute to the quality of life of our city. Likewise, criminals, whether immigrants or Philadelphia natives, diminish the quality of life for the rest of us. Illegal aliens are by definition criminals. That’s what the term “illegal” means. If they are also in custody having been arrested for criminal activity, which should double the concern. ICE is doing us a favor. The city’s policy makes it look like ICE is doing something nefarious.
“It is unfortunate that the Mayor and the Democrats in City Hall are more concerned about political gain and feel good initiatives rather than the safety of our citizens.” said Philadelphia Republican Party Executive Director Joe DeFelice, “we are excited about the calls we have received from concerned citizens in the region to build a stronger Republican Party and we welcome more coverage for our Party and our candidates going forward.” For more information from the Melissa Murray Bailey Campaign please email firstname.lastname@example.org.