Statement on Recent ICE Actions in Ward 1
I am deeply troubled by reports from advocates that Immigrations and Customs Enforcement conducted an action in Adams Morgan this past weekend that resulted in two parents being brought into ICE custody and separated from their teenage children. These actions tear our families apart and sow deep distrust in law enforcement. As Councilmember, I have called for an abolition of ICE and wrote DC’s law to establish a permanent immigrant legal services fund.
Ward 1 is the most diverse ward in DC with the largest immigrant population. I support all of our residents. My priority is keeping our residents safe and making sure they know their rights when ICE comes. Learn more about my work to protect and serve our immigrant residents here.
The District is a sanctuary city, which means our law enforcement does not cooperate with ICE. The Metropolitan Police Department’s policy is that it will not enforce civil immigration laws, which only create a strong divide between the police and community members. MPD officers are also prohibited from asking about residency and immigration status.
Several organizations in the community are working to support the detained residents including CAIR Coalition, Ayuda, CARECEN, and Sanctuary DMV. These organizations are often looking for volunteers who will help answer phones, staff jail visits, or attorneys willing to represent people pro bono.
In addition, advocates are asking residents to sign a petition that calls on the Mayor and Council to protect immigrants by ensuring (1) that there is absolutely no cooperation between DC law enforcement and ICE; (2) that DC residents detained by ICE can access the Immigrant Justice Legal Services (IJLS) grant program; and (3) that the DC Department of Corrections stop notifying ICE when an inmate with an immigration detainer is released. I support all three goals and encourage you to add your voice by signing: https://petitions.moveon.org/sign/mayor-bowser-stand-up
I believe the diversity of the District is our greatest strength and I am committed to keeping the District a welcoming place for all. Each of us has a responsibility, now more than ever, to stand up for our neighbors who are vulnerable against hate and bigotry. I hope you will join me in my efforts and show your support to others.