On Wednesday March 12, 2o14, 1Love Movement, as part of the Philadelphia Family Unity Network (PFUN) held a public hearing with the support and leadership of City Council on the devastating effects of local police collaboration with ICE, specifically the use of ICE holds or detainers in our criminal justice and prison systems that funnel people into deportation proceedings and exile from our local communities.
Spearheaded by Councilwoman Quinones-Sanchez, Councilwoman Blackwell, and Councilman Kenney, the immigrant community was heard on how this toxic relationship breaks families apart and goes against our City’s principles of justice, fairness, and equality. And in a City where 1 in 5 people are formerly incarcerated, and where we hold dear our principles of redemption, rehabilitation and second chances, we cannot allow ICE to break families apart when meaningful re-entry and re-integration is critical for our community’s survival in the long run. In unity, PFUN called for an end to all ICE holds in the City of Philadelphia.
For more updates on the hearings please see PFUN’s Press Release.
We have much more work to do to, but for right now, we want to take the time to send so much love and respect to our PFUN partners: Juntos, Victim/Witness Services of South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition, and New Sanctuary Movement. Throughout the last 9 months of building this coalition, we have cried, hugged, cussed, screamed, and challenged each other in the realest way to understand the diverse and complicated experiences of the communities we all work with and come from.
Built on years of prior work together in our communities, and through an intentional undertaking of creating shared principles and accountability processes within our coalition, we were able to stand together in unity in the face of social and political divisions that pressure us to throw each other under the bus. The deportation system we’re up against has set its own labels for us to determine who is deserving and who is not. They call us “skilled” or “unskilled”, “documented” or “undocumented”, “educated” or “uneducated”, “criminal” or “non-criminal”. The fact that we refuse to be divided, and instead stand with each other as people and families deserving of dignity, respect and justice – period – is victory in itself. We are united and unwavering in our commitment to this movement for the human rights of ALL of our communities, and in this particular moment that means ending all ICE Holds. We love you PFUN! And thank you so much to all the organizations and groups that have supported us throughout this campaign so far. <3
To read all the incredible testimonies from the day, go to PICC’s website here.
And here are 1Love’s Testimonies:
- Mia-lia Kiernan, 1Love Movement: The links between mass incarceration and mass deportation
- Naroen Chhin, 1 Love Movement: Cambodian refugee experience of incarceration and deportation
- Nancy Nguyen, BPSOS Delaware Valley & 1Love Advisory Board: School violence, refugee and immigrant youth experience across generations
- Quyen Dinh, Southeast Asia Resource Action Center: The Southeast Asian community nationwide, and the federal immigration laws that affect us
For press on the event please see:
Newsworks: Philly moving to limit police cooperation with ICE
Philadelphia Inquirer: City to end some police cooperation with ICE
And to see the fierceness of Philly City Councilmembers in the face of anti-immigrant testimony at the hearing, check out this video. Go Councilman Kenney and Councilman Jones!
Philly rules! <3