The Atlanta City Council passed a resolution Tuesday night calling for the city police department to limit cooperation with federal immigration officials.
The resolution, which passed 9-1, came in response to President Donald Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), which has protected about 800,000 young immigrants across the country from deportation.
City Councilman Kwanza Hall said the legislation is a resolution to show the city is a welcoming place for immigrants, but he said it does not have the full force of the law.
“It reaffirms some of the things that we’ve already been doing in practice without it actually being written as a formal law as an ordinance,” Hall said. “Why on earth would we not to, at least, express that Atlanta stands with people who are being pushed to the margins further?”
The resolution calls for the city police department to not arrest or detain people based solely on requests from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), called detainers, or administrative immigration warrants.
The Atlanta Police Department deferred requests for comment to the mayor’s office.
Mayor Kasim Reed said to reporters Wednesday morning the decision to end DACA was “morally bankrupt.”
“Our policy is that our police department is going to be used to protect the people of Atlanta, not to intimidate people,” Reed said.
In a statement, Bryan Cox, a spokesperson for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said, “ICE remains committed to collaborating with jurisdictions throughout Georgia and nationwide to promote public safety. In its interactions with local and state counterparts, ICE explains its mission and seeks to educate local authorities about the ramifications when that cooperation is absent, which threatens public safety when criminal aliens are released into our communities rather than into ICE custody.”