Safe Communities for Delaware

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UUDAN is part of the “Safe Communities” coalition led by Network Delaware.  This coalition is working to protect our immigrant communities and together promote policies that foster trust and clarity.

The Safe Communities campaign aims to pass policies that keep state and local agencies removed from immigration enforcement.  New Castle County was one of the first major jurisdictions in Delaware to enact a “Safe Communities” policy.  The City of Newark passed their Safe Communities resolution in December.  Both the Christiana and Red Clay School Districts have also enacted these policies.  Delaware communities in the process of considering new policies include cities, school districts, universities and private schools.  The ultimate objective is a state-wide policy.

Delaware is home to almost 90,000 foreign born residents or more than 9% of the total state population.  Immigrants help drive the Delaware economy.  Immigrants are more likely to be of working age (79.4%) than the native-born population (50%).  In 2010, 10.7% of Delaware business owners were immigrants.  In 2014, immigrants in Delaware paid 154.5 M in state and local taxes, and 552.2 M in federal taxes.

For more than a century, innumerable studies have confirmed that immigrants are less likely to commit serious crimes or be incarcerated than people born in the U.S.

When crime victims and witnesses are unwilling to testify because they’re afraid an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent will be waiting to arrest them at the courtroom doors, real criminals go unpunished.  It means drug dealers and people who commit domestic and sexual violence are free to exploit a voiceless class of victims; such criminals become a threat to us all.  It’s a simple formula.  When crimes go unreported and unsolved, criminals are empowered.

Chris Magnus, Chief of Police, Tucson, Arizona

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