The Florida Sheriff’s Association statements on April 4th, 2017 addressing the weekly list issued by the Trump administration of law enforcement agencies that have rejected Immigrant Detainer requests made by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, correctly keep their focus on public safety and not immigration enforcement. In their own words:
“Sheriffs have to follow the law. And we are being asked to do something by the federal government that at least nine – nine – federal courts have said we can’t do,” Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said
“We support and cooperate with ICE with their efforts to identify and deport criminal aliens,” Orange County Sheriff and FSA president, Jerry Demings concluded. “However, we also swear under oath to protect, support and defend the U.S. Constitution. And that really is what we sheriffs intend to do.”
In response, Jill Hanson, J.D., Board Chair for the Florida Immigrant Coalition stated:
“The Department of Homeland Security does not have the legal authority to force local law enforcement agencies to illegally hold immigrants that otherwise would be free to return to their families. We are glad to see the Florida Sheriffs Association take a clear stand.
ICE Detainer requests are unconstitutional–period. They have been challenged in courts across our nation and most recently ruled as unconstitutional by a local judge in Miami. Florida Sheriffs are the latest in the growing voices clearly saying they won’t be intimidated into becoming a pawn for Trump’s immoral and costly mass deportation force.
Immigrant families need to know that they are safe to report a crime, whether they are the victim or a witness, and have the reassurance that cooperating with law enforcement will not lead to their family being torn apart.“