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SPLC: FDC and ICE Entanglement Undermines Community Trust and Public Safety

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today the Florida Department of Corrections (FDC) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) entered a Memorandum of Agreement to implement the 287(g) program, which allows for the formal coordination between the federal immigration agency and state correctional officers in enforcement activity. 
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is actively litigating against the entanglement of local law enforcement agencies with ICE, and the mandated agreements between them, with its lawsuit, City of South Miami, et al. v. Ron DeSantis, et. al. The lawsuit, which was filed in July of 2019, challenges Florida’s S.B. 168, which codified federal conscription of local law enforcement to enhance federal immigration enforcement efforts. 
The following statement is from A.J. Hernandez Anderson, a senior staff attorney with the SPLC’s Immigrant Justice Project:
“ICE entanglement in Florida has already proven to be a dangerous and a costly mistake for our communities. At Florida taxpayers' expense, these agreements needlessly deputize our local law enforcement and divert community resources into bolstering the federal deportation pipeline. 
“These agreements have also shown to sow distrust in communities, making all of us less safe, because people will be more likely to fear any contact with law enforcement. We know that as a result of ICE’s deeply flawed databases, many people have been erroneously targeted and detained by ICE. ICE has given us no reason to believe that the same mistakes won’t be made during their relationship with FDC.
“If the notoriously poor conditions in ICE’s detention centers are of any indication – including its three facilities in South Florida – they prove that the agency is incapable of accountability to its own detention standards. Inviting ICE to be more involved with Florida’s law enforcement and state prisons is a recipe for disaster.”