The District of Columbia became a sanctuary city on Wednesday after Mayor Vincent Gray signed a new order forbidding D.C. police to ask about an individuals immigration status. Furthermore, Mayor Gray said District police will not help Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents execute federal warrants unless the individual has committed another crime.
The new order also forbids D.C. police from contacting Immigration and Customs Enforcement to inquire about an individual's immigration status.
“Law enforcement agencies that honor ICE detainers help protect public safety,” ICE spokeswoman Cori W. Bassett said.
For future lawbreakers, Mayor Gray and Police Chief Cathy Lanier say it will be up to the FBI and ICE to decide on whether to check a detainees immigration status. However, D.C. police don't fingerprint offenders of less serious crimes, which will prevent the FBI and ICE from checking individuals charged with minor crimes.
Should an individual jailed by the D.C. police be suspected by ICE as an illegal alien, ICE will have 48 hours, excluding holidays and weekends, to pick up the suspect. The new city policy prevents detaining a suspected illegal alien for more than 48 hours.
Updated: Thu, Oct 20th 2011 @ 1:04pm EDT