Protesters object immigration act 287(g) in Collier County

A group gathered Friday to protest a program that allows the Collier County Sheriff’s Office to question people about their immigration status.

While protesters believe the program prompts discrimination, the sheriff’s office believes the 287(g) program in Collier County is in place to protect the people.

The arrest of Juan Daniel Gonzalez-Lopez, who is now placed on an ICE hold, sparked protests outside the Collier County Courthouse on Tamiami Trail East.

“He was arrested for not having a drivers license, he was put into jail. Even though his family posted bond, they still put an ICE hold on him,” said Mandy Bayer, Collier County Young Democrats Board Member.

More than 6,000 people have been detained in the county since the program was implemented in 2007.

“Growing up in Naples, I realized people disappearing from my community is not normal,” resident Karen said.

Proponents of the 287(g) program point to cases like that of Manuel Orrego-Savala, the man accused of drunk driving and killing an Indianapolis Colts Player on Monday.

But opponents believe the program targets low offenders and breaks up families.

The sheriff’s office said the program is the reason Naples is one of the safest cities in the state and want to reassure people they won’t be targeted by law enforcement based on their immigration status.

Reporter:Olivia Mancino
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