Home > Press Release > Lawsuit Filed to Cease Cruel and Unconstitutional Detention Policies

Lawsuit Filed to Cease Cruel and Unconstitutional Detention Policies

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Contact: Francesca Menes, francesca@floridaimmigrant.org, 786.340.1646

Melissa Taveras, melissa@floridaimmigrant.org, 786.663.6690

The Florida Immigrant Coalition Supports the UM Law Clinic Federal Lawsuit

The UM Law Clinic filed a federal lawsuit against Miami-Dade County over its cruel and unconstitutional immigration detention policy  

MIAMI – Florida Immigrant Coalition stands with the University of Miami’s School of Law, which filed a federal lawsuit against Miami-Dade County for unlawfully detaining a U.S. citizen under an unconstitutional policy of unlawfully detaining people suspected of violating civil immigration policies.

Police arrested 18-year-old Garland Creedle, who paid his bond shortly after his arrest; yet rather than releasing him, county jail officials held him on an immigration hold, despite never filing any criminal charges. Creedle was born in Honduras, but has been a U.S. Citizen since birth.

Nine Miami-Dade County Commissioners, along with Mayor Carlos Gimenez, backed an unlawful policy of detaining people without due process for federal immigration enforcement officials after the Trump administration emitted unfounded threats in January to cut-off funding for “sanctuary cities.” The Department of Justice later acknowledged that federal funding can’t be withheld from counties that don’t cooperate with immigration courtesy holds.  

At a time when Congress is seeking to pass anti-immigrant legislation, like HR 3003 and HR 3004, which erodes the communities trust between the public and law enforcement, Miami-Dade County should strive to protect the hard working, tax-paying immigrants living within their jurisdiction.

The following statement is from Jonathan Fried, Executive Director, WeCount!

“The Mayor and majority of the County Commission were willing to put the county in this position to ingratiate themselves with the President, despite ample warnings about the county’s legal liability and the impact the new policy would have on community trust,” said Fried. “It’s time for them to rethink what they have done.”

This detainer policy is cruel and needlessly creates panic among immigrant communities, while creating absorbent costs for taxpayers. Many families – including legal, permanent residents – are impacted by the detention policy. The exact number is unknown since the County has continuously refused to release statistics on the resulting detainers and deportations.

We demand that the Miami-Dade County Commission and Mayor Gimenez reinstate its 2013 detainer policy disavowing the illegal detention of suspected immigrants in jails; local law enforcement should operate separately from immigration enforcement.

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The Florida Immigrant Coalition is a statewide alliance of over 60 member organizations, including farmworkers, students, service providers, grassroots organizations and legal advocates, who come together for the fair treatment of all people.