Starting this fall, Philadelphia officials will stop sharing information about crime victims and witnesses with federal immigration authorities.
KYW’s Mike Dunn reports that they’re hoping to ease the worries of potential witnesses who are undocumented immigrants.
The city right now shares with Washington data on those arrested, as well as victims and witnesses, some of whom are illegal immigrants.
The feds have vowed not to use the victim and witness data for deportation, but Mayor Nutter and community groups aren’t so sure.
So, effective September 1st, only data on those arrested will be shared with Washington. Mayor Nutter says witness and victim information will be withheld:
“We don’t have to worry about: are you looking? Are you not looking? Are you kind of looking? Are you looking with half your eye open? If you can’t see it, you can’t use it.”
DA Seth Williams says that fear is very real for witnesses:
“We need them to continue to share information with police when they’re victimized. No one has the right to do anything to them, and they shouldn’t be worried about their own national status when they call 911.”
But it remains to seen if the blocking of this data on victims and witnesses will be enough ease the concerns of local ethnic groups that such information could be used to deport undocumented residents.