by KYW’s John Ostapkovich
The City of Philadelphia has a decision to make this week: whether to continue to allow federal immigration agents access to a crime database operated by the city.
The problem the Nutter administration sees with its PARS (Preliminary Arraignment Reporting System) is that ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) can tap into it.
Immigrant rights groups complain that sometimes after a person is involved with police, even in a minor way, ICE comes knocking with questions — or deportation.
The Nutter administration doesn’t want that to happen and wants ICE’s PARS privileges to end.
DA Seth Williams, who is one of three city officials who will decide, says he hasn’t finalized his position yet but is inclined to side with the immigrant rights groups:
“I don’t want people who are here on whatever status not to come forward. But those that are arrested and their status is something that ICE is looking into, that’s a separate and distinct matter.”
Information on criminal suspects reaches ICE though another reporting stream that will continue.