Posts Tagged ‘undocumented immigrants’

Mexico Consul, ACLU, Civil Rights groups blast immigrant crime bill

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

The Consul of the Mexican Consulate in Orlando and several groups blasted a Florida senate bill Wednesday that would make one set of criminal codes for undocumented immigrants and another for everyone else.
Mexico Consul Juan Sabines Guerrero called Senate Bill 120 “condemnable by society as a whole” as he and representatives of the ACLU and several Civil Rights organizations called, at the Mexican Consulate in Orlando, for the Florida Legislature to stop the bill.
SB 120, sponsored by Republican Travis Hutson of Palm Coast, would require that any criminal charges against undocumented immigrants be upgraded. A first-degree misdemeanor charge brought against someone who turned out to be an undocumented immigrant would be prosecuted as a third-degree felony; a third-degree felony charge would be prosecuted as a second-degree felony; etc.
Hutson was not immediately available to respond. He has promoted the bill by arguing that undocumented immigrants already have committed another offense by being in Florida illegally.
“Any legislation that forgets basic principles of law, disregards basic human rights, and forgets the contribution of immigrants is to be condemnable by society as a whole,” Sabines said.
Sabines and others, including activists Philip Arroyo and Lawanna Gelzer, argued that the proposed law clearly violates the equal protection principle of American justice, which has been established to say that immigrants, including undocumented immigrants, are to be treated in court like anyone else.
“We think it’s racist, it’s unconstitutional, it’s a violation of human rights, and as a law student I have to say I am disgusted and embarrassed,” said Arroyo, representing the ACLU of Central Florida and the Immigrant Rights Task Force.
Arroyo said the bill is unconstitutional and said, “If this passes, expect a legal battle.”
SB 120 has cleared both the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice, by one vote in each panel. It

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School board votes to protect kids from immigration raids

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017

A South Florida school board is taking steps to protect the children of undocumented immigrants who face deportation.
The School Board of Broward County approved the resolution on Tuesday in response to increasing fears of more aggressive immigration enforcement policies implemented by the Trump administration.
School Board member Robin Bartleman says immigrant families “wanted to know that we had their backs.”
News outlets report the resolution prevents Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents from entering schools or school-related events without warrants. Any requests to access schools or get information about a student will be directed to the district’s attorney.
The board also agreed to have schools work with parents and community organizations to come up with a plan in case a student’s parents are deported.
The Miami-Dade school board will vote on a similar policy March 15.
Republished with permission of The Associated Press.
The post School board votes to protect kids from immigration raids appeared first on Florida Politics.

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Is Orlando a ‘sanctuary city?’ What’s a ‘sanctuary city?’

Friday, February 10th, 2017

No one has identified Orlando as one of the “sanctuary cities” providing safe havens for undocumented immigrants while sustaining conservatives’ wrath and potential funding cuts from President Donald Trump‘s orders, but when the question comes up, Orlando responds with a puzzle.
“While it’s not clear exactly what the definition of a “sanctuary city” is, it is clear what Orlando is,” the office of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer responded Friday, in a statement, to a question about a sanctuary city status. “In Orlando, diversity and inclusion are a vital part of our way of life.”
Sanctuary cities can be difficult to identify because they do not have to be overt. Those that use city ordinances or written executive decisions to discourage or ban police from detaining undocumented immigrants, or from turning them over to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, and to make sure all city services are extended to all residents regardless of immigration status, are obvious. Others, which discourage or decline to detain or turn over undocumented immigrants, while seeking to extend all services, based on policies or in-house legal interpretations, can have the same impact without codifying the practice.
And cities can pursue such policies to various lengths.
Last month Trump signed an executive order blocking sanctuary cities from qualifying for certain federal assistance.
Dyer, a Democrat, has not made any statements suggesting the city was informally pursuing sanctuary policies, but he also has not refuted the idea.
Orange County Republican Chairman Lew Oliver said he had not heard nor seen anything suggesting it was happening, adding, “My sense is it’s not the kind of thing our mayor or our city would be interested in doing.”
Still, the city’s statement, while making no explicit claims to any sanctuary policies, at least embraces some of the values of sanctuary.
“We have a long history of advancing policies that embrace diversity and celebrate

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Report cites Orlando, Miami, for having large undocumented immigrant populations

Friday, February 10th, 2017

Miami and Orlando are among the biggest homes in the United States to unauthorized immigrants, according to a new report from the Pew Research Center.
The report, base on 2014 data analyzed by Pew, estimates that there are 450,000 undocumented immigrants in the Miami-megaplex that includes Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, ranking the metro area as the fifth largest, behind New York, Los Angeles, Houston and Dallas, but ahead of Chicago and Washington D.C.
In the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford metropolitan area, the report estimates 110,000 unauthorized immigrants, ranking 19th nationally. The Orlando is the nation’s 25th largest metro area.
Pew reports that its analysis shows that the nation’s unauthorized immigrant population is highly concentrated, more so than the U.S. population overall. In 2014, the 20 metro areas with most unauthorized immigrants were home to 6.8 million of them, or 61 percent of the estimated nationwide total. By contrast, only 36 percent of the total U.S. population lived in those metro areas.
The analysis also shows that unauthorized immigrants tend to live where other immigrants live. Among lawful immigrants – including naturalized citizens and noncitizens – 65 percentage lived in those top metros. But not all major metropolitan areas house major populations of unauthorized immigrants.
The Tampa-St Petersburg-Clearwater metro area has about 75,000; Cape Coral-Fort Myers, 35,000; Naples, 30,000; and Jacksonville, Sarasota-Bradenton, and Lakeland-Winter Haven about 20,000 each, according to the Pew report.
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Poll shows tied race between Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump in Florida

Monday, September 19th, 2016

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are in a statistical tie in the presidential race in Florida, according to a New York Times Upshot/Siena College Research Institute poll of likely voters released Monday.
Clinton had the support of 41 percent of likely voters against 40 percent for Trump. Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson had 9 percent and Jill Stein of the Green Party had 2 percent.
Meanwhile, Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio led Democratic U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, 48-42 percent.
The poll had a margin for error of plus or minus 3.3 percent.
Likely voters supported federal gun control legislation, 49-43 percent; opposed building a wall along the Mexican border, 50-43 percent; and favored federal economic stimulus programs, 44-37 percent.
They disapproved of the Affordable Care Act, 51-42 percent. They split on whether to deport undocumented immigrants — 44-43 percent.
“Right now, Florida is a toss-up. Beneath tied scores on vote choice and issue preferences rest varied competing groups and interests,” said Don Levy, director of the Siena College Poll.
“Voters are split on which candidate they support and they disagree on many issues of the day,” he said. “Different groups and regions see the issues and the candidates through very different lenses. With favorability ratings pretty well baked in and issue positions unlikely to change, the turnout battle, region by region, demographic by demographic, is likely to decide this crucial swing state,” Levy said.
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