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Deportation program under fire in Collier County

Collier residents fear local ICE program
Posted at 10:47 PM, Dec 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-06 07:23:38-05

Critics say the 287 G program unfairly targets minorities in Collier County.

The ACLU, NAACP, Collier Freedom and other groups discussed concerns about the program during a meeting on Tuesday.

"If I had the distraction right now of having my parents taken away, it would ruin my whole life," said a 15-year-old girl named Jessica.

Collier County joined the program in 2013, it allows deputies to perform some of the duties normally done by Immigration agents.  Critics say deputies abuse the program by targeting minorities at traffic stops.

"Our police should not be asked to use a bulldozer to solve a problem that is best addressed with a scalpel," one man said at the meeting.

Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk defended the process, saying it's helped bring down crime.

"Only individuals who have been arrested on criminal charges and are being booked into our jail are asked about their immigration status. Our deputies in the community do not ask people their immigration status, nor do we as an agency conduct immigration sweeps," the sheriff said in a statement.

The Collier Sheriff's office will hold a public meeting next Monday to discuss concerns about the program.