Despite opposition from Orlando’s immigration advocates, two new bills are moving forward in Florida. The first one HB 675, is aimed at penalizing local government and state entities, as well as law enforcement agencies who do not enforce immigration laws. The second HB 9, for those who defy deportation orders would face increased penalties.
According to State Representative Larry Metz “this bill would basically say, as a matter of policy in the state of Florida, that we’re not going to tolerate state or local governmental agencies from refusing to cooperate with the enforcement of existing federal immigration law.” Representative Larry Metz further went on to state that “the enforcement of existing federal immigration law is very limited under the current administration as it is right now, just targeting mainly those with criminal backgrounds or who are already subject to deportation orders.”
Recognizing that this would ultimately undermine the relationship between the immigrant community and the local police department, State Representative Cynthia Stafford responded, “People will be afraid to deal with the police. Crime victims, domestic-violence victims, human-trafficking victims, witnesses to a crime, even reporting a crime, will have a chilling effect based on this bill. What was once trust will become fear and anxiety.”
There are many cases reported of denial of civil rights and abuse when law enforcement takes immigrants into custody without giving full consideration to the circumstances surrounding their interaction with law enforcement. For immigrants throughout Central Florida, being separated from their families by deportation only causes pain for everyone involved and is the reason many immigrants are reluctant to deal with law enforcement on any level.
Another concern was raised by The Florida Immigrant Coalition policy director, Francesca Menes who said, “What this means is that our teachers will be forced to report undocumented students or their parents”.
HAWM Law is proud to provide legal advice to those looking for assistance. Our immigration team works closely with everyone involved. We will evaluate your immigration case and help navigate you through the immigration process from start to finish.
At HAWM Law we work hard to develop the best strategy in defending immigration matters to avoid adverse consequences for non-citizen clients. If you are a non-citizen charged with a criminal offense, you will need a criminal lawyer who can fully understand, appreciate and represent your immigration interests. Each matter or petition is thoroughly analyzed and clients are given thoughtfully planned, straightforward advice on their best immigration process.
The attorney’s at HAWM Law have the experience and knowledge to help you with the complicated immigration process. Contact us for a free consultation.