Delco Sanctuary City Debate Continued — Delaware County Councilman John McBlain made a passionate reply to yesterday’s (Dec. 1) article regarding how the respected Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) — it has been cited by the Supreme Court and members have testified before Congress — listed Delco as a sanctuary for illegal aliens.
“Our Council has not and will not approve any policy that would qualify our county as any sort of ‘sanctuary’ status that would oppose the application of federal law,” McBlain said. “There’s no parsing words or being cute here – this website is flat out wrong.”
McBlain has demanded that CIS remove Delco from the list and retract the claim.
Bryan Griffith has since replied saying the data is correct and, further, “(Delco) has policy/legislation that limits or prohibits cooperation with ICE“. He said the county should take the matter up with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) if it wants the claim removed.
CIS defines “sanctuary city” as a jurisdiction that does not comply with ICE detainers for jailed or incarcerated illegal aliens as opposed to the more commonly understood one of a jurisdiction that has declared that it will protect undocumented immigrants by not prosecuting them solely for violating federal immigration laws in the country in which they are now living illegally.
The CIS definition is quite useful in that it exposes non-compliance that would otherwise be unknown to the public. It is unfair, however, to use it in a fundamentalist way. Three declined detainers over 21 months ending Sept. 30, 2015 — which is what Delco is accused of having done — does not a sanctuary city make. We would be interested in learning specifically what policy/legislation Delco has that “limits or prohibits cooperation with ICE”. None, however, is listed on the CIS map, unlike the listing for Philadelphia.
Chester County, which is also listed, has had but one declined detainer between Jan. 1, 2014 and Sept. 30, 2015. Montgomery County has had seven. Philadelphia County has had 171 and the city itself has declared itself to be a “sanctuary” via mayoral executive order.
The difference between Delco’s alleged sins and Philly’s known ones is huge and it is kind of unfair to put them on the same list.
UPDATE: A link has submitted by Bryan Griffith of Center for Immigration Studies to a Temple University Study from March 2015 says Delaware County has a written policy not to comply. As per the study: A privately run company, Community Education Centers (CEC), is responsible for correctional services at the George W. Hill Correctional Facility in Delaware County. Dated August 5, 2014, CEC’s policy is to not hold individuals based solely on ICE detainers. CEC was unwilling to turn over the policy because CEC considers it to be “proprietary information,” but noted that arrangements can be made for “in person” review of the policy.