Immigrants Warned about Florida Travel as ICE Arrests Soar

Immigrants Warned about Florida Travel as ICE Arrests Soar
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More than a dozen Advocate groups  are warning immigrants about traveling to, or within, the Sunshine State, according to an Orlando Sentinel report. The organizations are citing an increase in the past year of immigration arrests that surpasses any other area in the nation. Specifically, immigration rights and nonprofit organizations are pointing to newly formed alliances among U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and 17 Florida sheriffs for spreading more fear in the state. 15 pro-immigration groups are advising immigrants from outside of Florida to expect to encounter immigration agents at the state’s seaports, bus stations, and airports.

Spring Break in Florida

Warnings from these organizations come right as the state braces for spring break season — where the state’s theme parks and beach resorts are visited by millions. In 2017, Florida estimated more than 4 million travelers from Canada and other countries, and nearly 27 million from other states, between January and March. At least two recent Border Patrol arrests were filmed at Greyhound stations in Florida. Federal legislators demanded a review of searches and seizures within a 100-mile zone near borders and coasts. Due to Florida’s topography, that encompasses the entire state. For this reason, pro-immigrant organizations are organizing rallies across the state.

Florida is not the only state on the list that may be dangerous for immigrants. Last May, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) issued a warning about travel to Texas after the state passed a law banning sanctuary cities. As a result of the recent ban, law enforcement officers were granted the authority to ask people during routine stops about their immigration status.

To consult with an experienced immigration lawyer today, call 855-686-6752

Florida at Forefront of Immigration Arrests

That being said, Florida has had the largest increase in immigration arrests – even above Texas – between 2016 and 2017.  According to the ICE statistics, immigrant arrests in Florida went up from 3,500 to nearly 6,200, an almost 76% increase. Beyond higher immigrant arrests, Florida also pushes a model that grants law enforcement agencies the ability to hold or detain an immigrant who has been arrested for other offenses and are illegally in the country. In fact, 17 of the state’s law enforcement agencies have agreed to comply with this model.

News agencies across the nation have reported that ICE is able to use a license plate recognition database that has more than 2 million entries as a tool to support its immigrant investigations. The data would allow ICE agents to track the movements of a license plate for the past five years. Other information that could be extracted from this data includes home addresses and other places and individuals associated with the vehicle.

15 pro-immigration groups are advising immigrants from outside of Florida to expect to encounter immigration agents at the state’s seaports, bus stations, and airports.

Florida Immigration Help

Now perhaps may be perhaps the scariest time for immigrants in our country, particularly in the Sunshine State. If you or someone you know has questions about his or her immigration status or has a loved one who has been detained by federal immigration agents, contact an attorney today. The skilled immigration attorneys at Bogin, Munns & Munns can help you understand your rights and obligations under the law. Contact us today to schedule your immigration consultation at one of our 13 conveniently located Central Florida offices.

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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