ZINE – The PARS/ICE Contract: What it is & how we fight

New zine from Philly Socialist Alternative! Click here to download a pdf or click through the link below to read online.

What is PARS?

PARS stands for “Preliminary Arraignment System” and is a database used by police in Philadelphia for processing arrests. All misdemeanor and felony arrests that occur in Philadelphia are processed through this system.

The City of Philadelphia has given ICE access to the PARS database since 2010.

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If We Don’t Get It! Shut It Down!

On the evening of July 2, 2018 the Center City ICE office at 8th and Cherry was shut down by – a coalition of a Occupy ICE PHL dozen left and progressive organizations, as well as myriad unaffiliated activists. Members of Socialist Alternative were on the ground from the initial planning discussions to the final arrests. Though representing a wide range of political tendencies, these activists were able to find sufficient common ground – politically and literally – to occupy a patch of concrete and asphalt outside the Philadelphia ICE Office for 4 days around demands to abolish ICE, close the Berks detention facility and end PARS data sharing.

In less than a week, Occupy ICE PHL changed the conversation throughout the entire city. Under pressure from the protests the Mayor’s office has agreed to meet with Juntos, New Sanctuary, and other Organizations later this week. The movement has pushed Mayor Kenney into a corner, exposing the shallowness of his claims that Philadelphia is a “sanctuary city”. As a progressive Democrat, Kenney enjoys the glow of dressing himself up as “the resistance” to the Trump presidency. Yet he signed off on a contract with ICE, granting access to the city’s legal database, known as PARS, and effectively assisting ICE to deport and detain immigrants in Philadelphia.

Since the final clearing of the occupation at 8th and Cherry by Police on July 5th, a second occupation was established at City Hall, and the original coalition has broadened to include activists attracted during the course of the protests. This coalition continues to meet to plan next steps and an escalating series of actions. Join us to discuss next steps for the movement!

Open Planning Meeting: Tuesday July 10th 6:30 – 9pm

Friends Center 1501 Cherry St

If you can’t come to the meeting but are interested in getting involved drop by the occupation at City Hall and let us know!

  • You can also call the Mayors office and tell him that you support the demand to end all cooperation with ICE. Call 215-686-2181
  • What to say: Hello, my name is ________  and I am calling on the city to end all cooperation with ICE. Specifically I support the demand that Philadelphia end its PARS data sharing contract. The city government’s relationship with ICE is unacceptable and I cannot support it.
  • Sign this Petition to end PARS

Occupy ICE PHL is an impressive uniting of the Philly Left, but to be truly powerful, this movement must reach out and engage the vast majority of working class people and their organizations without compromising on demands or politics. We want our elected officials in City Council and the Mayor’s office to make clear where they stand. Among the forces we need to mobilize are the unions, churches, and progressive community organizations. This means forcing the democratic establishment to make good on the promise of being a sanctuary city, even if it means dragging them kicking and screaming to fulfill the demands of this campaign.

A real sanctuary city would be one where all people, regardless of legal status, could access affordable housing, living wage jobs, quality public education, professional day care and excellent health care. To get there, we need real “resistance”— action which unapologetically disrupts business as usual built on the foundation of mass working class movements and effectively impedes Trump’s brutal immigration policy and deportation tactics.

  • Stop the Deportations: Abolish ICE

  • End Family Detention: Close Berks Detention Center

  • No Cooperation with ICE in Philly: End Philly’s PARS data sharing contract

Make Philly a Real Sanctuary City for the Working Class!

Sign Up To Get Involved!


Philly ICE Occupation!



Still here

114 N 8th St.

Bring water, vegan food, people!

Venmo occupyicephl if you’re so moved!

See also the updated FB event:


Take action to stop ICE! Mass public outrage has forced Trump to withdraw the policy of separating families in detention facilities. But this is not enough: detention without separation is not acceptable either!

Immigration has effectively been criminalized – that’s how far back we’ve been set. It should not be a crime to flee poverty and violence, especially since that poverty and violence is often the result of US intervention in the countries from which immigrants come. To begin to fix this, we must abolish ICE, and end the threats of detention and deportation of immigrants, asylum seekers, and refugees.

We must carry the momentum forward and fight to completely decriminalize immigration. Join us to rally at City Hall.

We demand:

1. Stop the Deportations: Abolish ICE

ICE is responsible for family separation and for raids of homes and workplaces. ICE is also an economic weapon on working people, used to drive down wages and working conditions of immigrants, and by extension, the broader working class. ICE is a humanitarian abomination, and also an obstacle to the progress of all working people.

2. End Family Detention: Close Berks

The Berks County Family Detention Center, outside of Philly, is 1 of 3 family detention centers in the country, and the only one that can hold families indefinitely. We demand Gov. Wolf order the closure of Berks. Families must be guaranteed legal status and an option of high quality housing in-state, NOT be transferred to another facility upon closure.

3. No Cooperation with ICE in Philly

ICE has access to PARS, a legal database used by the city. This contract ends on 8/31, and we demand that Mayor Kenney cancel it.

Ending the criminalization of immigrants is a crucial part of the fight to secure true safety and security for all working people and the oppressed – a fight which includes affordable housing, a living wage, quality public education, and a massive jobs program.






Coalition members:

Socialist Alternative

Philly Socialists

Party for Socialism and Liberation

Montgomery County Socialists

Liberation Project

Philly DSA

Reclaim Philadelphia

Green Party of Philadelphia

International Marxist Tendency


IWW Philly