To: Muriel Bowser, Mayor, Karl Racine, Attorney General, Phil Mendelson, Council Chairman, Kenyan McDuffie, Councilmember, Anita Bonds, Councilmember, David Grosso, Councilmember, Elissa Silverman, Councilmember, Robert White, Jr., Councilme...

Mayor Bowser: Protect DC residents from ICE raids!

In light of recent threats from the Trump adminstration against immigrants, we urge you to do everything in your power to protect DC residents. This includes ensuring (1) that there is absolutely no cooperation between DC law enforcement and ICE; (2) that DC residents detained by ICE can access the Immigrant Justice Legal Services (IJLS) grant program; and (3) that the DC Department of Corrections stop notifying ICE when an inmate with an immigration detainer is released.

Why is this important?

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Earlier this week, President Trump threatened that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will begin carrying out mass arrests, raids, and detentions of immigrants across the country. Since then, we have received multiple credible reports that these raids will impact D.C. and could begin as early as this weekend. The news has already begun to spread fear in the District, which is home to many immigrant communities - as powerfully illustrated by this recent Washington Post article.

Meanwhile, ICE activity in our region will likely intensify as the 2020 President Election nears. Out of concern for our city and our neighbors, we request that you take action to ensure that D.C. lives up to its Sanctuary status. Specifically, we call on you to ensure:

1) That there is absolutely no coordination between the Metropolitan Police Department and ICE. Large-scale operations like the one described by the President Trump rely on local cooperation, such as sharing information about residents, blocking off streets, withholding information about ICE activity from the general public, or detaining residents on ICE’s behalf. These deny due process to D.C. residents and particularly harm over-policed Black and Brown communities. We urge you to proactively ensure there is no collaboration between MPD and ICE.

2) That D.C. residents who are detained by ICE can access legal representation through D.C.’s Immigrant Justice Legal Services (IJLS) grant program. As things stand, anyone detained by ICE in the forthcoming raids are barred from receiving legal aid through IJLS. As a result, most families that cannot spend thousands of dollars on a private immigration lawyer will see their loved ones lose their case and be deported. The increase in IJLS funding to $2.5 million is a good step, but it won’t make a difference for our most vulnerable neighbors if this restriction isn’t lifted.

3) That the D.C. Department of Corrections (the “D.C. Jail”) stop notifying ICE when an inmate with an immigration detainer is released. The D.C. Jail’s current policy ( - Section 9ab) instructs staff to notify ICE prior to the release of an inmate with an immigration detainer, allowing ICE to come to the D.C. Jail and detain the individual as they are being released. Notification of ICE at the D.C. Jail happens indiscriminately, regardless of whether the inmate had their charges dropped, were found innocent, or served their sentence. Compliance with immigration detainers by notifying ICE is voluntary for local jurisdictions. The D.C. Jail’s policy violates D.C. law ( - § 24–211.07) and places dozens of D.C. residents in ICE’s custody.

We believe D.C. is a city where all people should live without fear. We call on D.C. government to do everything in its power to protect our residents this week and for the long-term future. Our values must be matched with actions in defense of all immigrants.

(to: Mayor Bowser; cc: Attorney General Racine & DC City Council members)


Ante las amenazas recientes por parte de la administración del presidente Trump contra los inmigrantes, le instamos a que haga todo lo que esté a su alcance para proteger a los residentes del Distrito de Columbia. Esto incluye garantizar (1) que las fuerzas de seguridad de la ciudad no cooperen, de ninguna manera, con el Servicio de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas (ICE); (2) que los residentes de DC detenidos por ICE puedan acceder al programa de subsidios de Servicios Legales de Justicia para Inmigrantes (IJLS por sus siglas en Ingles); y (3) que el Departamento Correccional de DC se comprometa a no notificar a ICE cuando se libere a un preso que tiene un orden de detención de ICE.

A principios de la semana pasada, el presidente Trump amenazó que ICE comenzaría a realizar arrestos masivos, redadas, y detenciones de inmigrantes en todo el país. Desde entonces, hemos recibido múltiples informes creíbles de que estas redadas afectarán al Distrito de Columbia, y podrán comenzar en los próximos días. La noticia ha generado temor entre los residentes del Distrito de Columbia que forman parte de comunidades inmigrantes, como lo ilustra este reciente artículo del Washington Post.

Mientras tanto, la actividad de (ICE) en nuestra región probablemente se intensificará a medida que se acerquen las elecciones presidenciales del año 2020. Por el bien de nuestra ciudad y nuestros vecinos, les solicitamos que tomen medidas para garantizar que el Distrito de Columbia cumpla sus garantías como ciudad santuario. Específicamente, les pedimos que se aseguren de que:

1) Las fuerzas de seguridad de la ciudad no cooperen, de ninguna manera, con ICE. Las operaciones a gran escala, como la descrita por el presidente Trump, dependen de la cooperación de fuerzas de seguridad locales. Esto incluye acciones como compartir información sobre residentes, bloquear calles, ocultar del público información sobre la actividad de ICE, o detener a residentes en nombre de ICE. Estas acciones le niegan el debido proceso legal a los residentes de DC, e impactan de manera adversa a comunidades marginalizadas que ya son sobre vigiladas. Les instamos que se aseguren de manera proactiva de que no haya colaboración entre la policía (MPD) e ICE.

2) Los residentes de DC que sean detenidos por ICE puedan acceder servicios de representación legal a través del programa de subvenciones de Servicios Legales de Justicia para Inmigrantes (IJLS) de DC. Presentemente, cualquier persona detenida por ICE tiene prohibido recibir asistencia legal a través de IJLS. Como resultado, la mayoría de las familias que no pueden gastar miles de dólares en un abogado de inmigración privado verán a sus seres queridos perder su caso y ser deportados. El aumento en la financiación de IJLS a $ 2.5 millones es un paso importante, pero no hará una diferencia para nuestros vecinos más vulnerables si no se elimina ...


Reasons for signing

  • We need to go beyond rhetoric & tweets in supporting immigrants. Let's take these common sense steps!
  • We need to protect all human beings and their rights to safety and protection within our city. Our immigrant communities make Washington DC the beautiful, thriving and colorful city it is and we must defend these communities against ICE and racism. As a teacher in our public schools I urge you to do all in your power to not collaborate with ICE, ensure legal services to those detained and fight to keep families together so that the levels of trauma already impeding our children's ability to ...
  • As a DC resident, I believe that the city must be a stronghold for democracy, inclusion, and freedom - the values our nation was founded on. If we don't protect all our residents, documented or not, we are not upholding those values. I ask that you please stand against ICE and the atrocities they are committing against some of our most marginalized residents. We are watching to see your courage in protecting the people that live in the city you run.