LatinoJustice Urges Port Chester to Reject Plan to Work with ICE and They Do

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 6, 2017

Contact: John Garcia, Director of Communications, 212-739-7513, 917-673-9095 or jgarcia@latinojustice.org

Port Chester Village board members announced Wednesday that they would not enter into an agreement with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) which would have required the police department to provide information about residents to ICE agents.

LatinoJustice PRLDEF Associate Attorney Joanna Cuevas Ingram testified that a growing number of courts have rejected the authority of local law enforcement agencies to detain immigrants beyond their release date upon receiving requests from ICE. But the biggest danger presented by these immigration enforcement cooperation policies involving local police and ICE is the distrust they breed between local law enforcement and the Latino community.

“These kinds of agreements foster the loss of community trust in the police and run the risk of constitutional violations,” said Cuevas-Ingram. “The Village stands on the right side of history, placing community trust over potential coercive federal executive intrusion. More than 675 jurisdictions, including hundreds of county and public school boards across the country have adopted policies that increase public trust, protect vulnerable undocumented immigrant community members, end racial profiling, and avoid costly liability for severe constitutional violations. We applaud and support the Village of Port Chester in its efforts to promote and advance inclusive public safety and security measures for the entire community.”

Cuevas Ingram pointed out in her testimony that according to the “latest 2015 U.S. Census American Community Survey Estimates, nearly 64% of Port Chester residents identify as Latinx/Hispanic, sharing heritage from across Latin America.” The population represents citizens, legal permanent residents, and undocumented residents.

Though the agreement would have subsidized the salary of three new police officers, many residents who attended the meeting applauded the decision. The village's police chief was quoted as saying he would rather have residents feel comfortable reporting crime to local officers than fear deportation. Here’s the link to the recorded hearing: http://ec4.cc/ggd2c352a - click Public Comment after Roll Call - at 7:20- 1:00:54 - the whole recording is powerful. Cuevas Ingram's comments are at the end, between 1:28:00 and 1:32:38

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