Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody Wants More Power to Enforce Immigration Laws

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Ashley Moody, Florida’s Attorney General, is behind a Senate proposal giving her the authority to file civil actions against local Florida governments who refuse to comply with federal immigration authorities. The Republican-sponsored bill would grant Moody the ability to seek injunctions against local or state government entities and/or law enforcement agencies that do not cooperate with the federal government’s immigration authorities. Of note, the state of Florida currently has zero sanctuary cities. Senate bill 168 (SB 168) is expected to go before the full Senate in the near future.

Understanding the Issue

Sanctuary cities, which are popping up across the country, do not assist federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents in their enforcement of immigration laws. As of late, ICE has conducted numerous immigration raids and deportation hold requests – particularly for those held in state, city, or county jails – over the past years. Not surprisingly, this has caused a divide across the nation – not just between federal and local governments, but between American citizens.

Currently, there are several sanctuary cities in the following states, according to research conducted by the Center for Immigration Studies: California, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, and Vermont.

ICE’s Detainer Program

The United States government uses detention as a method to seek out and take custody over undocumented workers, referred to as “removable immigrants,” when they are arrested. The reasoning behind immigration detainers is the belief that the individuals pose a threat to society and/or are a flight risk. Some situations in which ICE could detain an undocumented individual include if that person committed a criminal offense, missed an immigration hearing, arrived at the border without a visa, and/or has been issued an order of deportation (removal) from the U.S. While many people are under the belief that once ICE has detained an immigrant, he or she will immediately be deported, this is not always the case.   If they were here lawfully (with legal entry or  a visa of some sort) an immigration judge will first have to consider several factors:

  • The immigrant’s particular circumstances;
  • The immigrant’s community involvement;
  • The security risk the immigrant poses to society;
  • The immigrant’s employment history;
  • The immigrant’s prior immigration history; and
  • Any other factor the court deems relevant.

After reviewing the above factors, a Florida immigration judge may decide that the individual may be released on bond. There are two general types of immigration bonds — delivery bonds and voluntary bonds. A delivery bond grants an immigrant immediate release from detention and allows him, or her, the chance to obtain legal representation outside of government custody. A voluntary bond, on the other hand, grants an immigrant to leave the United States voluntarily and at the immigrant’s expense.

For the past two years, Horizon West has made up two of every three building permits issued by the county.

Florida Immigration Attorneys

If you have questions about how immigration laws affect you or a loved one in Florida, contact the experienced Orlando immigration attorneys at Bogin, Munns & Munns. We understand this complex area of the law and how it can intersect with criminal law. Do not try to figure this out on your own. Contact us today for an initial case evaluation.

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NOTICE: The article above is not intended to serve as legal advice, and you should not rely on it as such. It is offered only as general information. You should consult with a duly licensed attorney regarding your Florida legal matter, as every situation is unique. Please know that merely reading this article, subscribing to this blog, or otherwise contacting Bogin, Munns & Munns does not establish an attorney-client relationship with our firm. Should you seek legal representation from Bogin, Munns & Munns, any such representation must first be agreed to by the firm and confirmed in a written agreement.

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