CREATED Oct. 1, 2012
NAPLES, Fla.- The Collier County Sheriff says he is expected to renew an agreement that cracks down on illegal immigration. As Four in Your Corner's Julie Salomone explains opponents argue the law breaks families apart and allows the sheriff's office to target undocumented immigrants for misdemeanors.
Gloria Padilla works for RCMA which cares for children of migrant farm workers in Immokalee.
She shares a letter from me from an 8-year-old whose dad was deported.
"My mom and sister are sad says the note. These are the kind of letters we are getting more an more of," said Padilla.
Gloria and other local activists oppose the renewal of the Immigration and Nationality Act known as 287(g). It allows the Sheriff's Office to detain undocumented immigrants caught in criminal acts who are then deported.
to target undocumented immigrants for misdemeanors.
"When a child sees or hears about their parents or extended family members are being taken away for possible deportation, it sets in a feeling of fear, anxiety," said Mickey Gargan, chairwoman for the Collier Dems.
1,200 people in Collier County have already signed a petition against 297(g). An agreement, the Sheriff says he plans to renew.
"It's been successful here in Collier County and we have been recognized by ICE as a successful program," Sheriff Kevin Rambosk.
The group delivered a letter to the Sheriff's Office on Monday. The group argues the program splits families apart and targets minorities for misdemeanors.
"I certainly urge him to reconsider the 287(g) program," said Alex Vernon.
The Sheriff's Office tells Fox 4 in a statement, "The results we have experienced since implementing the program in 2007 support its continuation. The approximately 4,200 individuals have been placed on detained in Collier County are responsible for more than 27,200 crimes committed in Collier County and other areas of the United States.
The Sheriff's Office full statement is as follows: "I would like to thank the individuals who signed the letter that was presented to the Collier County Sheriff’s Office today for sharing their opinion of the agency’s 287g partnership with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. I also appreciate their words of support for the work the men and women of this agency do to keep our community safe.However, Collier County remains committed to the 287g program. It’s important to remember that the 287g partnership is a national program carefully administered by a federal agency using current laws. We have implemented this program sensibly and have employed best practices to ensure that it is administered fairly and in accordance with the law. In fact, the recent editorial in the Naples Daily News that was quoted in the letter submitted to me today calls CCSO’s 287g program “a model for the rest of the state and country.” We conduct ongoing community outreach efforts to reassure witnesses and victims of crime that they will not be targeted by law enforcement based on their immigration status. Illegal immigrants who are victims of certain crimes also have the option of applying for a U visa, which protects them from enforcement of immigration law.
The results we have experienced since implementing the program in 2007 support its continuation. The approximately 4,200 individuals who have been placed on detainer in Collier County are responsible for more than 27,200 crimes committed in Collier County and other areas of the United States.
I remain committed to identifying and apprehending all individuals who commit criminal acts in Collier County. Law-abiding people – regardless of their immigration status – do not want criminals living in their neighborhoods.
By removing criminals from our community we are keeping Collier County safe."