Following the unveiling of a new partnership between ICE and local sheriffs departments, a coalition of nearly two dozen Florida-based activist groups has issued a travel warning to all black and brown people – especially illegal aliens – to take “great caution” while visiting the sunshine state.
Florida, according to the group, saw the biggest jump in ICE apprehensions in 2017.
Illegal aliens should take extra care when traveling through transportation hubs like Greyhound bus station and airports.
According to PJMedia, these groups have staged events across the state to spread the word to illegal immigrants who are thinking about vacationing in Florida during Spring Break. They’re also posting information on which areas to avoid as 17 sheriffs across the state have agreed to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement – a partnership that has been challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union.
Illegal immigrants should “reconsider visiting Florida and especially recommended to avoid high-risk areas, including ports, airports, and Greyhound stations.”
ICE immigration arrests during Obama’s presidency dropped from 297,898 to 110,104. That number has already rebounded to 143,470 under President Trump.
“We are taking the step of warning our communities that as the Florida lawmakers, state, local and federal do not take steps to push back against the anti-immigrant policies, we do not feel like our communities are safe in the state,” Tomas Kennedy, deputy political director at the Florida Immigrant Coalition, said.
Federal law enforcement has been tightening security in the 100-mile zone near all borders and coasts, leading to a significant increase in arrests. Since Trump was elected in 2016, immigration arrests in Florida have climbed by 76%. Texas and Oklahoma have also seen sharp increases in detentions as well, with Dallas posting the highest number of arrests in 2017, while Houston and Atlanta weren’t far behind.
Even though Trump’s executive order expands law enforcement’s focus to include illegal immigrants without a criminal history, nearly 75% of immigrants arrested last year had prior convictions.
The most common crimes committed by illegal immigrants last year included driving under the influence – 16% – and possessing or selling dangerous drugs like opioids – 15%. The most common pending criminal charges were general traffic offenses – 17% – driving under the influence of alcohol – 14% – having or selling drugs – 13% – and immigration violations – 7%.
It’s impossible to compare 2017 data with earlier years because ICE only recently started collecting and reporting detailed information on the criminality of those arrested.
Over the weekend, the highlighted a warning issued by Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, who undermined the Trump administration, by broadcasting a warning to all Bay Area residents that a massive coordinated ICE crackdown would be starting “within the next 24 hours.”