Color Due to Discriminatory, Unconstitutional Legislation Introduced
On April 8, Florida civil rights advocates issued a travel advisory for people of color and immigrants, urging them to use caution when traveling in Florida due to two proposed bills; Senate Bill 168 (“SB 168”) and House Bill 527 (“HB 527”). According to advocates, if these bills are passed into law, certain individuals could be targeted due to their race and have their constitutional rights violated; especially when it comes to possible deportation, racial profiling, and unjust detention.
Both of the bills are aimed at enforcing federal immigration laws, including U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) immigration detainers. They force local law enforcement here in Florida to act as immigration agents and conduct warrantless detainer requests.
Opening The Door to More Police Abuse in Florida
Many are concerned that both SB 168 and HB 527 are simply going to provide additional justification to law enforcement to increasingly use violence and excessive force to push forward an anti-civil rights agenda; an agenda that already involves using racial profiling to enact violence against Florida communities. As a result of this behavior, a number of lawsuits are already regularly filed against Counties, County Police Departments, and individual officers for battery deprivation of civil rights by excessive use of force, false arrest, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, and negligent hiring and retention.
SB 168 has already passed the Senate Judiciary Committee; even though, according to a recent report, hundreds of people had false detainer requests issued against them shortly after certain municipalities in Florida–such as Miami-Dade–agreed to work with ICE years ago. As a result, a number of lawsuits have also been filed against Florida authorities for unlawfully holding people on these detainers. It is expected that these new bills will essentially lead to this type of disruption becoming mainstream at the state level. If they are passed and signed into law, there will undoubtedly be additional civil lawsuits filed focused on racial profiling, false arrest, and false imprisonment, as well as violations of Fourth Amendment, due process, and Equal Protection rights.
If You Live in Florida and Your Civil Rights Are Violated, Contact Our Attorneys Today
The coalition behind the warning is also reaching out to local businesses due to the likely significant economic impacts the bills would have in decreasing travel and tourism in Florida.
Under the U.S. and Florida constitution, you are afforded very specific civil rights. When those are eroded by legislators and law enforcement, you need to speak with an experienced civil rights attorney right away in order to ensure that you do not end up in federal prison after crimes have been committed against you. Contact our Orlando civil rights attorneys at the Baez Law Firm today to find out more about our legal services.