By Jordan Buckley
The cover story in the FL weekly explores both 287g and Secure Communities: the two ways that Collier County Sheriff’s Office is working together with federal immigration to deport community members.
Here are a few quotes from it; the first two are from the CCSO representatives that defended 287g last week at the Immokalee InterAgency Council Meeting on November 14th.
“Regardless of what they come in for, if they’re foreign born, we’re going to interview them. If they come in on a traffic offense or they come in on a murder charge, we don’t necessarily care… We’re looking at your immigration history.” — Lt. Keith Harmon
“[T]here are situations when someone with only one or two driving offenses (is subject to removal proceedings). It’s rare but it does happen. But in the end, you’re here illegally and you committed a crime… I don’t understand why in this country that concept is so abhorrent to so many people.” — Commander Mike Williams
The article mentions that under Secure Communities — whereby fingerprinting in jails is shared with ICE — in Collier County far more people were deported for Level 3 crimes (less serious offenses like driving without a license) than Level 1 crimes (felonies).
The article also reports that 17 children in Collier County have been placed in foster care because their parents were being held by ICE or had been deported.
I’ll close with a poignant statement from Dr. Juan Puerto, family doctor in Immokalee, as quoted in the Florida Weekly piece: “In my opinion, breaking up a family is more of a crime than not having papers when you’re in this country.”
All in all, the article is an informative and distressing read –you can download the article here