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November 1, 2018


Julie Mao, NIPNLG, (202) 470-2082 |
Maria Alejandra Salas-Baltuano (703) 314-0456 |

Today, Mijente and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIPNLG) --immigrant rights and Latinx-focused organizations working at the intersection of immigration enforcement and criminalization--released a new report, Three Ways DC Can Improve its “Sanctuary City” Policies to #AbolishICE from the City, that exposes the major ways that DC participates in raids and deportations of its community members, and calls on DC officials and community to end its collaboration as a concrete step towards the abolition of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Read the full report here »

Mayor Bowser has declared repeatedly that Washington DC is a “sanctuary city” for immigrants, where “neighborhoods are safer and stronger when no one is afraid.” She has also affirmed that DC law enforcement, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), does not collaborate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). But, as this report reveals, the reality for DC residents is anything but sanctuary or safety.

Some of the highlights of the policy report include:

  • The DC jail, operated by the city’s Department of Corrections, has a policy of collaborating with ICE by transferring individuals into ICE custody upon resolution of their criminal matters, such as after they are granted pretrial release, their charges are dismissed, and/or they serve their sentence.
  • The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), DC’s local police department, has several ways it facilitates deportations of community members, directly and indirectly.
  • DC’s pretrial services and probation programs are staffed by a federal agency called the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA) that collects immigration status information and communicates with ICE.

“...Our public officials should be taking a hard look at how DC government collaborates with ICE...”
— Julie Mao, NIPNLG

“Our fight doesn’t end just because Bowser hides behind a weak sanctuary city policy that doesn’t actually protect our immigrant communities. We will continue to fight until we Abolish ICE from the city and the criminal courts,” stated Maria Alejandra Salas-Baltuano, Mijente member and one of the authors of the report.

“At a time when city officials have condemned ICE for engaging in racial profiling and mass raids in DC, our public officials should be taking a hard look at how DC government collaborates with ICE and doing all it can to end its assistance in ICE detentions and deportations,” said Julie Mao, staff attorney at NIPNLG and co-author.

Read the full report here »

Mijente is a national Latinx organization leading on mobilizing against immigration enforcement and criminalization. As a digital and grassroots hub for Latinx and Chicanx movement building and organizing, Mijente seeks to increase the profile of policy issues that matter to our communities and increase the participation of Latinx and Chicanx people in the broader movements for racial, economic, climate and gender justice.

The National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIPNLG) is a national organization that provides legal support to community-based immigrant organizations, legal practitioners, and all advocates seeking and working to advance the right of noncitizens impacted by the immigration and criminal justice systems.