Baltimore City Council members formally called on federal Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officials on Monday to refrain from arresting immigrants in the city unless they have committed a crime.

City Councilman Zeke Cohen, who represents Southeast Baltimore, said many in his district are concerned about arrests in the Highlandtown and Greektown areas, including the detention of a father who had just dropped off an elementary school student at school.


"As many of you know, we've had several constituents snatched up by ICE, especially in my district," Cohen told fellow council members Monday. "These are hard-working people. They pay taxes. They send kids to our schools. The most recent one was a father who dropped his 9-year-old child off at Hampstead Hill Academy and then was immediately picked up by ICE and is sitting in a detention center in Frederick, Maryland."

Cohen has drafted a resolution that calls on ICE to "adopt more humane tactics when operating within Baltimore City." He said he plans to hand-deliver the resolution to ICE officials in Baltimore. The council unanimously approved it Monday night.

"What I am asking ICE to do is to only target, through their enforcement, people who are actually committing crimes and not just folks who are here and want to live in peace," Cohen said.

Matthew Bourke, a spokesman for ICE, said he couldn't comment on pending legislation specifically.

But he said it's the agency's duty to enforce "the Immigration and Nationality Act enacted by Congress, which includes arresting, detaining, and removing those who have violated immigration law."

"ICE does not conduct sweeps or raids that target aliens indiscriminately," Bourke said.