Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

Real news for working families.  An online newspaper

Florida News

FL Police: 'We're Not ICE Agents'

TALLAHASSEE, FL - Who is going to enforce an 'Arizona Copycat' law in Florida to question and detain undocumented immigrants? That's the question the Florida Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) is asking state lawmakers.

FOP political director Lisa Henning, who speaks for thousands of police officers around the state, says recent cuts in state appropriations mean there is not enough money or manpower to collar people suspected of being in the country illegally.

"I don't think government should be able to pass off to the state and to the counties the expense of trying to force them to be ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents."

Lawmakers who support the Arizona-style law claim that those they consider "illegal aliens" need to be rounded up. Florida local police officers claim if such a law goes into effect, they will be hard pressed to enforce it without considerable budget increases across the board.

A study by the Florida Immigrant Coalition says Florida also stands to lose $45 billion in tourism and small business trade if such a law goes into effect.

Henning feels the Legislature is passing the "budget-cut buck" to local governments. She's not happy with the way state lawmakers have played the blame game.

"Saying the way this Legislature has approached law enforcement and the issue of their budget crisis by blaming it on law enforcement officers, is a joke."

Local police and Latino merchants in greater Miami have told the Florida Immigrant Coalition that people are afraid and that if Florida becomes "Arizona East" even law-abiding Latino residents would fear cooperating with police to keep crime in check.

Comments  (to add a comment go here)

Meeting Calendar
No need to be confused - Find links to agendas and where your participation is welcome.

Make a comment • click here •
All comments are displayed at the end of the article and are moderated.