The District of Columbia Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a permanent version of the Sanctuary Values Act, legislation that restricts cooperation between local agencies and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and strengthens the status of the U.S. capital as a "sanctuary city."
Just over a year ago, the government body had passed an "emergency" version of this law, but it was only a temporary measure.
The Sanctuary Values Act prohibits jails, police and other city agencies from sharing information with ICE or giving them special access. It also restricts the city's prisons from functioning as immigration detention centers and amends a loophole used by ICE and the U.S. Marshals to detain immigrants outside of D.C. Superior Court.
According to activists, this measure is essential to keeping immigrant families together and safe from deportation.
The measure will be voted on again in January during the next legislative session, and then will need to pass through another two rounds of votes before becoming law.