NewsHillsborough County


Protestors gather against new ICE collaboration with several Fla. sheriff's offices

Sheriff Bob Gulatieri says they've got it wrong
Posted at 5:44 PM, Feb 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-09 17:44:58-05

HILLSBOROUGH CO., Fla. — We told you about how 17 sheriff's offices throughout the state announced they have a new partnership with federal immigration authorities. They say it will keep dangerous, undocumented immigrants off the streets. Today protestor are furious at the decision.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office is one of six in the Tampa Bay Area announcing it will hold suspected undocumented immigrants, who've committed a crime, in jail giving the U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) a chance to pick them up.

A showdown in front of HCSO Friday morning as immigrant organizations and faith leaders slam the new partnership. Now in effect, it allows jails to hold undocumented immigrants, who have committed a crime, 48 hours past their scheduled release time.

"We do not expect them to be handyman, cleaneruppers for ICE. That's not their job!" said Father Peter Ruggere from Corpus Christi in St. Petersburg.

RELATED: Community rallies behind Plant City father of six facing deportation

Holding a detainee for an extra two days will cost a jail $125. ICE will reimburse them for $50.

"It is unconstitutional, Draconian and immoral," said Aida Mackic with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

"I'm 100 percent behind it," said Paul Jones, a supporter of the collaboration. "They were already committing a crime. That's why they were arrested. So if you release them they are just going to go out and do it again."

While protestors chant Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gulatieri fumes.

"They are totally, totally misconstruing the facts of what the sheriffs are doing," he said.

He insists their partnership falls in line with the Fourth Amendment because ICE has probable cause to take over custody.

"The only thing we are talking about are criminal illegals and not one thing in their press release, not one thing in their press release talked about criminals." said Gualtieri. "It talked about dreamers. It talked about all this other nonsense that is rhetoric."

"What we are seeing with the data is that they are arresting non criminal and non-violent offenders," said Pamela Gomez with the Florida Immigrant Coalition. 

These groups are in talks with the American Civil Liberties Union. They warn they have their eyes on Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Polk , Manatee and Sarasota counties. All are under this new agreement.