Guest post by Grey Torrico, Collier County Neighborhood Stories Project
I have lived in Collier County (southwest coast of Florida) for 18 years, and I grew up living with fear of our own police department. But things are much worse now than they have ever been because of the poli-migra effect.
What is the poli-migra effect? In 2007, our local law enforcement signed a collaboration agreement with ICE, called 287(g). It gives police the power to act as immigration officers, which has led to putting up checkpoints in Latino areas like Immokalee; harassing community members who don’t have documents; and detaining immigrants at our local jail for months at a time, only for being undocumented, even though they should be low-priority.
My community is so tired of being terrorized by the poli-migra, that in the last 6 months we have stepped up to call for an end to police-ICE collaborations.
The moment has finally come to end this once and for all, and we need your help! The 287(g) agreements expire in January 2013, and our friends at the ACLU of Florida created a petition asking Senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio to allow them to expire and not expand any further.
My county is not the only one in Florida with poli-migra; there are three total. If we let these agreements be renewed, or even expand to other counties, they will turn Florida into a copy of Arizona, county by county. We need our local police to really concentrate on our public safety, not harassing our communities or separating families.
This is our chance to stop the 287(g) agrements, and YOU can help us make a difference. Say NO to poli-migra in Florida! Sign the petition before this Friday, December 7th: https://www.aclu.org/secure/FL-End-287g-anti-immigrant-agreements-petition
All our signatures will be sent to Senators Nelson and Rubio with a letter signed by several organizations in Florida. If you are part of an organization that would like to sign-on, click here to download the letter to print and send me your name, organization and location to email@example.com no later than this Friday, December 7th at 9 a.m.
You can learn more about the local work that is being done around the poli-migra effect by visiting the Collier County Neighborhood Stories Project at www.collierstoriesmatter.org