More and more local law enforcement and particularly county sheriffs are illegally taking on the responsibilities of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE). This malicious pratice that tears apart families and comunities is spreading throughout our state and nation, some officially through the 287(g) statute that out-sources these duties to the local agency via an unfunded mandate or more often through the cavalier vigilantism of local sheriff’s and their deputies. Democracia USA is working with a coalition including the ACLU to try to stem the tide here in Central Florida. Just this week legal action had to be taken on behalf of a Honduran mother of three being unjustly removed from her U.S. citizen husband and children (see attached press release). Thursday our coalition will be holding a press conference in downtown Tavares to present a national study by Justice Strategies that outlines how these practices, and especially the 287(g) program, not only destroys families but also causes fear of the police making women afraid to report domestic violence, rape, or other such crimes as well as drains resources from the already strapped county budgets that could be spent on our children’s education and safety. Demand your local government use your tax dollars building our future not tearing apart our families. Florida Counties considering the 287(g) program include: Lake, Sarasota, Highlands, Manatee, Pasco, Polk, Marion, and others.