Support HB 1604 Police and Community Safety

In light of the recent decision to end DACA, we need to be focused on protecting our undocumented community members at the local level.  You can do that by supporting Representative Rabb's bill HB 1604, The Police and Community Safety Act.

HB 1604 prevents private and public postsecondary institutions from creating and implementing policies for the purpose of immigration enforcement. This bill makes sure that police officers are able to do their jobs without the burden of complying with cumbersome Federal legislation.  It allows for local control of our communities and makes sure that scarce resources are not diverted to witch hunts for non-violent, yet undocumented community members.

Because Daryl Metcalfe is the Chair of the House State Government Committee, we know there is a slim chance that this bill will make it through committee and to the House floor.  For that reason we are asking that folks call their representatives and ask that they introduce a discharge resolution (see rule 53 of the House Rules for a definition) to get the bill to be considered in the House without Metcalfe’s approval.

Please help members of the undocumented community and police by sending a letter to your representative or by calling them about HB 1604.  

Here are some talking points:

  1. Being forced to comply with ICE, prevents the police from doing their job. According to a study in 2013, 70% of undocumented immigrants indicated that they would be less likely to report a crime for fear of being deported. This makes it difficult for the police to keep the community safe.

  2. Complying with ICE is costly and wastes taxpayer’s money. Holding someone for ICE is expensive for the state or local community. ICE states clearly that it “does not reimburse localities for detaining any individual until ICE has assumed actual custody of the individual.”xi Pennsylvania citizens will pay the costs of holding people at ICE’s request and this can amount to millions of dollars of state or local money being spent for ICE’s benefit.

  3. The immigrant criminal is a myth. Immigration policy in the United States is shaped more by unfounded fears than it is empirical evidence. The truth is that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than those that were born in the United States. FBI data indicate that the violent crime rate declined 48 percent—which included falling rates of aggravated assault, robbery, rape, and murder. Likewise, the property crime rate fell 41 percent, including declining rates of motor vehicle theft, larceny/robbery, and burglary.

If you'd like to learn more, you can read up on this issue here:

  1. This is an excellent toolkit from PICC: Click here

  2. Action guide created by Philadelphia Click here

  3. ACLU Statements on Sanctuary Cities  Click here