PHILADELPHIA – At a press conference today in Philadelphia, the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania and other civil rights advocates rejected a series of executive orders on immigration issued this week by President Trump. The advocates, including the ACLU of Pennsylvania, Nationalities Service Center, CAIR-Philadelphia, HIAS-PA, and the Public Interest Law Center, gathered to denounce Trump’s efforts to build a wall at the country’s southern border, to massively expand deportation efforts, to escalate local law enforcement’s involvement in federal immigration law, and to exact fiscal punishment on municipalities that limit their interactions with immigration authorities.

The following can be attributed to Reggie Shuford, executive director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania:

“The executive orders signed this week by President Trump are legally flawed and are in deep contrast to our fundamental values as Americans.

“The border wall is not rational and is a fantasy based on racial and ethnic bias that will further erode the rights of the tens of millions of people who live in communities on both sides of the border.

“Trump’s executive order on so-called sanctuary cities doesn’t even bother to define the term. Local governments throughout Pennsylvania and around the country have chosen not to hold people in jail at the request of Immigration and Customs Enforcement unless that request is accompanied by a warrant, which is a reasonable stance based on constitutional principles. Meanwhile, most municipalities do not ask their law enforcement personnel to enforce federal immigration law because they want to enhance public safety and build trust with their residents.

“The Trump administration cannot simply commandeer local law enforcement to enforce immigration law. The ACLU will support communities that fight back against this order and that take the administration to court.”