40+ Community Leaders Call On Sheriff Rambosk to End 287g

October 1st, 2012

Naples, FL-  Today, a coalition of Collier County
leaders — including Ave Maria School of Law’s director of Asylum and
Immigrant Rights Law Clinic, Dr. Alexander Vernon; Redlands Christian
Migrant Association area coordinator Gloria Padilla; and Angela Cisneros, volunteer with the Collier County Neighborhood Stories Project — held
a press conference to coincide with the long-awaited delivery of a
letter calling for an end to 287g.

More than 40+ leaders, including clergy, business owners, non-profit directors and more, signed the letter denouncing the renewal of the 287g program and calling Sheriff Rambosk to end it.

Additionally, as an added effort, community members have been circulating a petition calling an end to the program and have collected more than 1,200 signatures. The petition has been circulated for the past month and has been shared online as well as in written form. You can sign the petition by going to bit.ly/end287g. The delivery of signatures will be done in the coming weeks.

The full text of the letter  is below:

October 1st, 2012

Dear Sheriff Rambosk,

We, the undersigned, are grateful for your office’s many good works. We know you share our strong belief that trust from the community is crucial to the ability of the Collier County Sheriff’s Office to excel in its job.  As leaders in the Collier County community, we also believe strongly in open dialogue with our elected officials on matters of great importance.  Indeed, it is our responsibility as community leaders in order to be accountable to those we serve.

An issue of tremendous concern for our clients, congregants, neighbors, loved ones and ourselves is the Collier County Sheriff’s Office collaboration with Immigration Customs and Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security under the 287g Memorandum of Agreement.

A Naples Daily News editorial underscored the severity of the 287g program — which they report has resulted in the deportation of more than 3,500 Collier County residents since 2007 — writing that it is “not strong enough to citizens who believe that being here illegally, period, ought to be enough to warrant deportation, but it is a big step in that direction.”  Indeed, it acknowledges that the 287g program has resulted in the deportation of individuals not only for felonies, but “for lesser offenses such as traffic infractions and other misdemeanors offenses.”

We have witnessed firsthand the widespread distrust and fear bred among families in our community due to the 287g program, and we know that your office’s continued participation in it will lamentably exacerbate this trend.  Accordingly, we respectfully ask you as Sheriff, with the well-being of both our community and the Collier County Sheriff’s Office in mind, that you not renew the 287g agreement.

Sincerely,

Barbara Mainster, Executive Director of Redlands Christian Migrant Association (RCMA)

Alexander Vernon, Interim Director of Asylum and Immigrant Rights Law Clinic at Ave Maria School of Law

Sister Maureen Kelleher, Managing Attorney of Legal Aid Services of Collier County

Ninfa Drago, Program Director at Catholic Charities Diocese of Venice

Lucas Benitez, Co-Director of Coalition of Immokalee Workers

Karl Glander, Service Director, Amigos Center in Immokalee, FL

William Trevino, President of the Lions’ Club in Immokalee, FL

The Rev. Ronald M. Patterson, Senior Minister, United Church of Christ, Naples, FL

The Rev. Miguel Estrada, Pastor of Mision Peniel (Presbyterian Church U.S.A.)

The Rev. Dr. Thomas P. Harp, Pastor, Vanderbilt Presbyterian Church, Naples, FL

The Rev. Dr. Roy Terry, Pastor, Cornerstone United Methodist Church, Naples, FL

The Rev. Onorio Benacchio, Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church, Immokalee, FL

Father Patrick O’Connor, Jesus the Worker Parish, Fort Myers, FL

Daniel Dix, owner of The Bean and Queen Mary Pub in Ave Maria, FL

Luis Trejo, owner of Mi Ranchito in Immokalee, FL

Maria Trejo, owner of Mi Ranchito Ice Cream and Cakes, Immokalee, FL

Lidia Luna, owner of Azteca Supercentro in Immokalee, FL

Emilio Martinez-Lezama OD, Eye Centers of Florida, Naples, FL

Antonio Gonzalez MD, Community Medical Care Center, Immokalee, FL

Omar Odada, owner, Omar’s Department Store, Immokalee, FL

Elias Villagomez, owner, El Expresso Bus Company, Immokalee, FL

Lucy Vungia, owner, Lucy’s Hair Salon, Immokalee, FL

Cory Jones, owner, Step In Step Out Shoe Store, Immokalee, FL

Dr. Juan Puerto, MD, General Practitioner at Immokalee Family Doctors Clinic

Araceli Gomez, Licensed Clinical Social Worker at Marion Fether Clinic

Paul Midney, RN, Patient Advocate, Marion Fether Clinic

Vickie Carr, community liason of Greater Immokalee Front Porch

Adan Labra, Area Coordinator of Farmworker Association of Florida

Carlene Thissen, Author of Immokalee: Fields of Hope

Claudia Saenz, Co-Coordinator of Student/Farmworker Alliance

Jordan Buckley, Co-Coordinator of Interfaith Action of SW Florida

Grey Torrico, Coordinator of Collier County Neighborhood Stories Project

Jake Ratner, Coordinator of Just Harvest USA

Ricky Chairez, Program Director, WAFZ La  Ley 92.1 fm /1490 am

Katie Mominee, Instructor at Immokalee Technical Center

Mickey Gargan, Chairwoman of Democratic Party of Collier County

Annisa Karim, President of Collier County Democratic Club

Doug Wilson, President of the Collier County Chapter of the ACLU

Victor Valdes,  Civil Rights Commissioner, LULAC

Cecilia Estrada, Coordinator of Migrant Services, Healthcare Network of SWFL

Albert Batista, former attorney at Legal Aid of Collier County

Marcela Rice, Community Organizer and Housing Counselor

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