|Published:||Oct 21, 2012 10:24 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Oct 21, 2012 10:58 PM EDT|
IMMOKALEE, Fla. - About 150 people holding signs, marching and chanting gathered at the Collier Sheriff's Office in Immokalee to protest a controversial immigration partnership known as 287 g.
1,700 signed petitions were delivered to Sheriff Kevin Rambosk. The protesters want this controversial agreement to be terminated, saying it's tearing families apart and creating mistrust in the community.
"We've been in a long fight for a couple months now trying to terminate it, specifically because we believe that the community lives in fear," said Grey Torrico.
The agreement allows state and local law enforcement to enter into a partnership with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE.
287 g allows certain Collier County deputies to check someones immigration status after they've been arrested. Opponents say the program targets low priority offenders.
"We've heard of people being deported for minor traffic infractions and those are low-priority infractions and that should not be happening," said Angela Cisneros.
They say it causes fear in the community.
"They live in mistrust of local law enforcement because of their lack of status. We feel that that's not keeping us safe at all," said Torrico.
The controversial agreement was set to expire on October 15th, but the federal government extended the program through the end of the year pending a review by ICE.
"Legal permanent residents and US citizens who have family members who lack status also are afraid to call the police for any crime that they might see," Torrico said.
Although we were not able to speak with Sheriff Rambosk, he did say in a recent statement to Wink News that he is pleased to continue the partnership with ICE.
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