The agreement permitted ICE agents to have access to a real-time law-enforcement database, which allowed them to obtain information about undocumented residents in the city in order to arrest them for violating civil immigration laws.
In a press conference, Kenney said that one reason he decided to end the contract was that he had grown worried that ICE was using the city-operated database to identify undocumented people who had otherwise broken no laws, a fact ICE admitted to during meetings with the mayor's office. This raised concerns within city leadership that the partnership was sowing distrust of law enforcement within immigrant communities.
ICE was, not surprisingly, unhappy with Kenney's termination of the contract. "Despite these attempts to obstruct ICE's lawful efforts to apprehend criminal aliens, the agency remains committed to its efforts to uphold public safety in the city of Philadelphia," an ICE spokesperson said in a statement.
The mayor's announcement comes in the wake of weeks of anti-ICE protests at city hall. The protesters had stated that they would not leave their encampment until the database is discontinued. The agreement is set to end August 31st.