Philadelphia has commitment to providing a high quality of life for immigrants. Immigrants make up approximately 15% of Philadelphia’s population. In 2023, Philadelphia became a certified Welcoming City. This honor recognizes the progress the City has made in its policies and practices. Philadelphia’s work covers access to City services, including the Philadelphia Police Department (PPD).

Philadelphia’s immigrant communities can access police services without fear that the PPD will share immigration status with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

City Policy On ICE in Philadelphia

In 2016, Mayor Kenney signed Executive Order 5-16. This states that the City will only follow federal detainer requests by ICE for immigrants in custody if:

  • It there is a judicial warrant and,
  • Pertains to an individual being released from custody following a conviction for a violent first or second-degree felony.


PPD Interactions with the Immigrant Community

When interacting with the police department, the immigrant community can be reassured that:

  • When answering a call, PPD officers keep the information they collect confidential, to the extent of the law.
  • The City does not give ICE access to records of people currently in the City’s custody.
  • The PPD does not enforce federal immigration law.
  • A person’s does not need to discuss immigration status to file a police report.
  • This also applies to complaints filed against PPD members by immigrants. Internal Affairs does not ask for immigration status when you file a complaint.

Immigrants can feel safe interacting with PPD members. The police department will not share immigration status outside of the reasons established in Executive Order 5-16.

For more information, see CPOC’s policy explainer on immigrant interactions with Philadelphia Police Officers.