S. Fla. Could Be Next Immigrant Sanctuary
OCTOBER 20, 2006
The advocacy group suing the United States Government to block the deportation of illegal immigrants with American “anchor babies” is working to convert a South Florida county into an official sanctuary for the undocumented.
On a mission to protect illegal migrants, the group called American Fraternity is pushing Miami-Dade County Commissioners to create legislation that would prohibit police from asking suspects about their immigration status during traffic stops or arrests and prevent officers from participating in immigration raids. Currently Miami-Dade police officers contact immigration officials if a suspect is undocumented, regardless of whether he/she is charged with a crime.
Prohibiting local law enforcement officers from inquiring about immigration status violates federal law, as is the case with the Los Angeles Police Department. Judicial Watch has sued that law enforcement agency to change the illegal policy and the case is currently being litigated.
Other cities across the nation have also disregarded federal law by creating the kind of sanctuaries that immigration advocates want in South Florida. They include Cambridge Massachusetts, San Francisco California and Takoma Park Maryland.
The South Florida proposal is the sequel to a lawsuit filed earlier this month on behalf of dozens of “anchor babies” who claim their constitutional rights are being violated by the constant threat that their undocumented parents will be deported. Approximately 350,000 children are born to illegal immigrants in the U.S. each year.
Under U.S. law, those children are automatically American citizens and cannot be deported. Their undocumented parents, however, can be. One U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer pointed out that people who come to the United States illegally and start families are building houses in the sand and should be aware of the consequences. “They don’t lave legal status in this country and they cannot adjust their status just because they have a U.S. citizen child. They are susceptible to arrest and deportation from the country regardless of that child.” Thus the need for special sanctuaries that shield these violators from the law.
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