The Philly information
In an effort to stop this egregious practice, we requested the following information from the city of Philadelphia to validate our evidence.
- Copies of all criminal cases reviewed by Immigration Counsel Caleb Arnold involving the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office (DAO), including records indicating the original charges and any notations or recommendations made by Arnold (such as, for example, to indicate no immigration consequence or that charges were too serious to change, or to amend the charges, or to nolle prosequi).
- Copies of any policy, guidelines, or criteria used to change or to recommend changing plea deals involving immigrants (including, for example, policy, guidelines, or criteria involving an immigrant’s time in the United States, family members, previous criminal history, etc.).
- All DAO policies, guidance, standard operating procedures, and bulletins regarding the prosecution and adjudication of persons charged with committing a criminal offense.
The city of Philadelphia requested an extension to provide information, which we granted.
About a week later we received a response from the DA’s office. They denied us the records under items 1 and 3. They did, however, provide us with their policy memo on avoiding unjust immigration outcomes.
We are in the process of either appealing their decision on items 1 and 3 or re-submitting another request for specific records based on statements made by their immigration attorney.
Based on what we expect to receive and data gathered thus far, we expect to sue the city of Philadelphia under the equal protection clause.