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Immigration advocates want Miami-Dade to be immigrant sanctuary
Miami Herald ^ | 10/19/2006 | Casey Woods

Posted on 10/19/2006 9:52:53 AM PDT by SirLinksalot

Immigration advocates want Miami-Dade to be immigrant sanctuary


With the debate on immigration reform stalled in Congress, Miami immigrant advocates looked elsewhere Wednesday for inspiration: to such cities as San Francisco that have declared themselves ''sanctuaries'' where local police are barred from participating in certain kinds of immigration enforcement.

Flanked by rows of restless children wearing shirts that read ''Don't make me an orphan,'' Nora Sandigo was clear on what she wanted.

''Local politicians need to stand up and take care of the children in their own house,'' said Sandigo, executive director of the immigrant advocacy group American Fraternity.

The group wants the Miami-Dade County Commission to declare the county a sanctuary. The designation means county police would be prohibited from asking suspects about their immigration status during a traffic stop or arrest, and county officers would only participate in immigration raids targeting immigrants with criminal records and those who entered the country illegally.

The ''sanctuary'' designation proposal is part of a larger push by American Fraternity to protect undocumented immigrants. Earlier this month, the group filed a class-action lawsuit in Miami federal court on behalf of the U.S.-born children of those immigrants, arguing that their constitutional rights are being violated by the constant threat that their parents will be deported.

With legislation on comprehensive immigration law reform stalled in Washington, such action is necessary, Fraternity president Alfonso Oviedo said.

''For all practical purposes, I believe Dade County already is a sanctuary, but we want them to make it official so . . . that there will not be abuses,'' he said.


Across the nation, other governments have established themselves as immigrant sanctuaries. Among those governments are Cambridge, Mass.; San Francisco; and Takoma Park, Md.

'If there is a resident who is not a citizen and he sees a murder, we want him to be able to come forward and not fear the first thing he will be asked is, `Are you legal?' '' said Joe Arellano, spokesman for Mayor Gavin Newsom of San Francisco, which has had sanctuary status since the early 1980s. ``Our first responders should not be enforcers of immigration policy.''

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials would not comment on the impact of sanctuary laws on the agency's work, only saying that such decisions are in the hands of local governments.

''We would defer to counties and cities to make a determination on how they wish to proceed, though certainly we always want to have a cooperative relationship with our state and local counterparts,'' said Jamie Zuieback, an immigration agency spokeswoman. ``We do often work closely with state and local agencies, in large part because we have a shared law enforcement objective.''

Under current policy, if Miami-Dade police officers discover a suspect is an undocumented immigrant, they can call immigration officials regardless of whether the suspect is charged with a crime.

''We don't proactively seek out individuals we believe are here illegally,'' police spokesman Roy Rutland said. ``However, if in the course of an investigation or an incident we have a reason to believe a person is an illegal immigrant, then we may contact ICE and detain them.''


The department does not have a strict policy on when an officer is allowed to ask about immigration status, Rutland said. ''We handle that on a case-by-case basis,'' he said.

Several county commissioners said they would need more information before committing to the sanctuary designation.

''I'm open to hearing about it, but I need to know more details,'' said Commissioner Jose ''Pepe'' Diaz, who was at the American Fraternity meeting on Wednesday.

Sanctuary cities have drawn fire from Congress, with House members trying to pass legislation that would, in some cases, deny some kinds of federal funding to local governments with sanctuary policies.

''They're breaking federal law because the people are here illegally,'' said Carlos Espinosa, spokesman for Rep. Tom Tancredo, a Colorado Republican who has repeatedly proposed anti-sanctuary legislation. ``Cities should not be allowed to set their own foreign policy by granting amnesty to illegals.''

TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: immigration; miamidade; sanctuary

1 posted on 10/19/2006 9:52:54 AM PDT by SirLinksalot
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To: SirLinksalot

Cubans aren't 'illegals' in Miami-Dade. So who the hell are they talking about? Haitians? Dominicans? Venezualans? (We should take all the Venezualans we can get since they will be the new anti-communists like Cubans, Vietnamese and Russians where in the last generation).

2 posted on 10/19/2006 9:57:34 AM PDT by bpjam (Hezbollah, Hamas, Al Qaida - The Religion of Peace)
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To: SirLinksalot
''They're breaking federal law because the people are here illegally,''

Doesn't Carlos Espinosa understand? Why can't people break the law? When breaking and entering one should be allowed to make off with anything one can lay one's hands on. When invading a nation, that nation should wave the law, and allow the law breakers the satisfaction of stealing from the taxpayers of that nation. Doesn't Carlos Espinosa understand? Carlos Espinosa is undoubtably a cruel and heartless person. Probably a racist........

3 posted on 10/19/2006 10:01:12 AM PDT by From One - Many (Trust the Old Media At Your Own Risk)
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To: SirLinksalot
If the sanctuary policy affected only the Miami-Dade area, a case might be made for it. But that's not so. Is there a fence around that area? No. Is there any way to prevent Miami-Dade sanctuary seekers from fanning out into the rest of the country? No.

Cities shouldn't be making immigration policy decisions that affect the entire nation.

4 posted on 10/19/2006 10:01:34 AM PDT by snarks_when_bored
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To: SirLinksalot

Confusing, ain't it--nativity scenes, crosses and state laws against killing unborn children, etc., are unlawful according to the US Supreme Court because they violate the mandates of the US Constitution. ("It's a living thing, it's a terrible thing to lose . . " ELO)
But when state and local governments expressly violate US Code, Title 8 by aiding and abetting the violation of federal law, well--that's just the way the cookie crumbles.

5 posted on 10/19/2006 10:02:04 AM PDT by tumblindice (Well butter my butt and call me biscuit.........)
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To: SirLinksalot

Any city that decalres itself a sanctuary or just refuses to cooperate with immigration checks should immediately lose all Federal funds -- for everything. No more roads funds, school funds, welfare (for anybody living in the city), etc.

Any state that doesn't likewise cut off state funds to that city should lose its own Federal block grants for the entire state.

These cities need to get the message that Americans are sick of their tax dollars being spent on illegals. How arrogant for a City to think it can decide to impose a burden on tax payers all across the country. Let them provide services out of their own local tax coffers -- replacing all the Medicaid, Foodstamp, Welfare, School and other dollars they lose -- and see how long they remain a sanctuary for illegals.

6 posted on 10/19/2006 10:05:36 AM PDT by Kellis91789 (I say we should flat-tax the Kyoto treaty all the way back to the security council ! -- Dogbert)
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To: SirLinksalot

Krome Detention Center (where those waiting for deportation are stored) is located in Miami Dade County.

One of the MAJOR USCIS (immigration) office paper centers is located in miami.

I don't think there is much support among the Cubans and other groups for this in miami.

7 posted on 10/19/2006 10:18:17 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! and
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To: Kellis91789

I agree. they do it for more trivial matters like the 55 MPH speed limit.

8 posted on 10/19/2006 10:19:37 AM PDT by Rakkasan1 ((Illegal immigrants are just undocumented friends you haven't met yet!))
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To: bpjam

Think University of Miami Law School.
Think Shaaaaleeela as President (friend of hitlary) of the University of Miami

Think ACLU wants to winter in miami.
(Even fox news just summered in Tampa for their morning show)

Think Janet Reno and her liberal University President Pal who sent Elian Gonzalez back to slavery.

Think all those wackos who protests the WTO in Miami.

This is a tiny group but they get the press because the press covers leftists.

9 posted on 10/19/2006 10:21:57 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! and
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To: SirLinksalot

Seems the race is on between those cities who are trying to do the job that the Bush Administration and Federal Government refuse to do vs. those cities wanting to pass laws giving sanctuary.

Eventually, as more and more cities take a position, this thing is going to come to a head and not just along the border, but in cities all across the country. The violence we have seen towards Gilchrist is only the beginning. Distinguishing friend from foe will be impossible and we already know which side of the issue our government is on. They won't even secure the border from terrorists for fear of slowing down the flow of cheap labor.

10 posted on 10/19/2006 11:07:08 AM PDT by Kimberly GG (Tancredo '08)
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To: Kimberly GG

Bump----good idea.. We will know where to go to round them up when the time comes

11 posted on 11/09/2006 9:08:59 AM PST by Fawn (NEVER GO TO 'APPLIANCE KING' IN BOYNTON BEACH, FLORIDA--THEY SCAM YOU!!!)
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