D.C. says no to ICE

By Duane Shank 10-21-2011

The District of Columbia has no voting representation in Congress, and our city government hasn't always been the best. But yesterday, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray issued a new executive order reaffirming and strengthening previous policies that District police and other public agencies will not cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Under the policy, D.C. police will not ask questions about the immigration status of someone arrested, and will not enforce ICE detainers against someone who has not committed another crime.

"In the spirit of 'One City,' and assuring the equal treatment of citizens and non-citizens alike, I am delighted to sign to this," the mayor said. And while the policy is not new, Maria Gomez, who runs a local community health center noted that, "it reinforces things for people who are scared. And people have been running scared."

While states from Arizona to Alabama are competing to see which can pass the most draconian anti-immigrant legislation, my home town makes me proud. The purpose of a local police force is to protect the community they serve, not to enforce a broken and unjust national immigration system.

Duane Shank is senior policy advisor at Sojourners.

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