MIAMI (AP) — More than a dozen advocacy groups issued a warning about traveling in Florida on Wednesday saying immigration arrests there have soared more rapidly in the past year than in any other area of the country.
Leaders from immigrant rights and nonprofit organizations said new cooperation between Immigration and Customs Enforcement and 17 Florida sheriffs is also spreading fear in the state.
The travel advisory issued by 15 groups warns immigrants from other states to reconsider Florida trips or to be ready to encounter immigration agents at airports, sea ports and bus stations.
“We are taking the step of warning our communities that as the Florida lawmakers, state, local and federal do not take steps to push back against the anti-immigrant policies, we do not feel like our communities are safe in the state,” said Tomas Kennedy, deputy political director at the Florida Immigrant Coalition.
Federal officials are in the midst of an immigration enforcement operation in the Los Angeles area and have so far detained more than 100 people suspected of being in violation of immigration laws.
The sweep, which began Sunday, is focusing on “individuals who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security,” Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Sarah Rodriguez said.“This means that, ideally, we are working with local police and county jails to identify public safety threats in their custody, who are also in the country illegally, for deportation,” Rodriguez said in a written statement.But “uncooperative jurisdictions” such as Los Angeles, she said, have forced ICE agents to “conduct at-large arrests in the community, putting officers, the general public and the aliens at greater risk, and increasing the incidence of collateral arrests.”
“That is what ICE is now doing in Los Angeles, and what ICE will continue to do in uncooperative jurisdictions,” Rodriguez said.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A bipartisan Senate plan to protect young illegal immigrants from deportation and pour billions of dollars into border security appeared headed toward a Senate showdown on Thursday as wary Democrats signaled that a solution could be close.
The new bipartisan plan would protect from deportation 1.8 million immigrants, known as “Dreamers,” brought to the United States illegally as children.
Congress is scrambling to act after President Donald Trump ordered the March 5 termination of an Obama-era program giving the young immigrants temporary legal status.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer noted the difficulties in writing immigration legislation, but added: “We are closer than we have ever been to passing something in the Senate to help the Dreamers.” Senate votes on various proposals are expected on Thursday.
As the Senate struggled with a way to end a months-long deadlock, Trump was holding firm to his demand to support a different, sweeping rewrite of U.S. immigration law in a way that could sharply decrease the number of legal immigrants.