The Brevard Times reports that over 250 individuals were arrested in Florida earlier this year due to a sweep conducted by the U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement. The arrests were made across nearly two dozen Florida counties from Miami-Dade to Suwanee to Hillsborough. Several undocumented immigrants were also arrested in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The federal agency’s enforcement action ran from March 18th through the 22nd. Ninety-Nine of those arrested had criminal records, including felony convictions for violent or serious offenses. The individuals arrested with outstanding orders of deportation, as well as those who illegally returned to America after being deported, can be removed from the country immediately. The remaining arrestees are under ICE custody and are either awaiting a hearing before an immigration judge or awaiting travel arrangements for removal from the country.
ICE Targets Employers
The most recent sweep of arrests is part of a larger plan by the current administration to target undocumented immigrants across the country. Earlier this year, federal immigration agents went into five South Florida 7-Eleven stores to review records and interview workers under executive orders. Approximately 100 stores were targeted nationwide, according to a news report by the Sun-Sentinel, 21 arrests were made. Shortly after the raid, 7-Eleven issued a statement claiming that they had canceled franchise agreements with stores that were not complying with state, local, and federal employment laws. Immigration agents served store owners with notices of inspections, known as an I-9 audit. This process allows ICE agents to review employment records to ensure employers are compliant with hiring laws. Under the Obama administration, more than 3,000 notices of inspection were served in 2013, according to ICE.
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Know Your Immigration Rights
Under the current administration, these types of ICE immigration sweeps continue across the country, and Florida is no exception. ICE can deport individuals who entered the U.S. without documentation (such as those who cross the border or arrive on land from the sea) as well as those who entered the U.S. with documentation that has expired (such as those who overstay their visas). ICE can also deport a legal permanent resident or green card holder who has committed certain crimes. Of note, a U.S. citizen are normally immune from be deported by federal agents.
Earlier this year, federal immigration agents went into five South Florida 7-Eleven stores to review records and interview workers under executive orders.
According to the Florida Immigration Coalition, there are multiple programs that are being used to enforce immigration laws in Florida. One, known as Secure Communities, is a statewide program that exists in all Florida counties. Local law enforcement agencies have the authority to check fingerprints of those arrested against federal databases. Should an arrestee appear to not have legal status, ICE is notified. If ICE can confirm the illegal status, they can initiate a deportation case against the individual. Another program is known as 287g. This program is currently only being enforced in three Florida counties and allows certain police officers to act as ICE agents and carry out specific tasks. These officers can enforce immigration laws in addition to regular law enforcement laws, including inquiring as to a person’s legal status.
If you, or someone you know, have questions about your immigration status, or need immigration help, the experienced Florida immigration attorneys at Bogin, Munns & Munns are here for you. Contact us today for your immigration consultation.
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.