Under the current administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrests increased by 30 percent in the 2017 fiscal year. On January 25, 2017, the president signed an executive order widening ICE’s focus to most immigrants in the United States, regardless of criminal activity or lack thereof. While Pittsburgh is not known as a hotbed of ICE activity, it is a fact that our city has been making national headlines for its immigrant population. Just a month ago, ICE officials carried out a targeted raid at Oakland’s Union Grill. Pittsburgh enjoys the status that comes with being “America’s Most Livable City” but still offers no substantial livability for immigrants, undocumented or otherwise. Mayor Peduto wants to increase the city’s population by 20,000 people and has cited the importance of community that is “supportive of all people” for attracting businesses that will improve the local economy, and yet, Pittsburgh still operates as “almost a sanctuary city.” The complete lack of legislation establishing Pittsburgh as a “Fourth Amendment” city, doesn’t lend itself to a very welcoming environment.
In light of these recent arrests, it felt prudent to share the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) guide for what to do when ICE knocks on your door.
ACLU of Pennsylvania
Executive Director: Reggie Shuford
P.O. Box 60173
Philadelphia, PA 19102
ACLU of Greater Pittsburgh
P.O. Box 23058
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Note: At the time of publication, the information regarding Dan Gilman’s bill proposals to City Council was current. At this time, some of the referenced legislation has changed, or is changing to better reflect the mayor’s goals.