Orange County Should Be a Place for Immigrants to Succeed

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Immigrants have been vital to sustaining and developing Orange County’s economic growth and cultural development. Orange County has benefitted from the contributions made by immigrants, especially to Florida’s leading industries of tourism and agriculture.

Despite how immigrants have shaped the county, too many immigrants live with the fear of being removed from their families and communities because of our country’s broken immigration system. Right now, local officials are forced to follow one-size-fits-all policies that burden local police and take their focus away from community needs in order to support the federal government’s deportation agenda.

Local law enforcement officers should not have to bear the consequences of a faulty and unconstitutional detainer system. We should not penalize immigrants simply because the federal government has failed to create a realistic path to citizenship for hard-working immigrant families.

That’s why we must ensure that Orange County makes local decisions to be a place where immigrants can prosper and succeed.

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Your Message
Dear Orange County Board of County Commissioners,

One in five people in Florida are immigrants. Orange County is home to hundreds of thousands of immigrant families. This means that every day, people in our community live in fear that they or their loved ones will be subjected to immigrant detention or put into the inhumane deportation pipeline.

Historically and especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are seeing essential and undocumented workers live in constant anxiety as thet travel to work, preoccupied with providing for their families and hoping they won’t be stopped and asked about their immigration status. The reality is that many times immigrants are stopped and detained for minor traffic violations or for simply being undocumented. An interaction that unfortunately often leads to detention, being separated from their families, deportation, or even death at the hands of ICE.

As commissioner, there are actions you can take right now to protect immigrants and make our community safer for everyone. enhance public trust and community protection. I urge you to pass a local ordinance that includes the following policies to provide comprehensive protections for immigrants.

1. Prohibiting discrimination based on race, national origin, color, ability to speak English, and other factors that are specific to immigrant communities.
2. Protect crime victims and enhance community safety by creating clear processes for employing U visa forms for immigrants reporting crimes.
3. Creating an Immigrant Legal Assistance Fund to assist immigrants in unwarranted detention and deportation cases and ensure that immigrant parents are not separated from their children. As we know, minority communities are disproportionately policed. Black and brown communities need due process and access to legal representation.
4. Enhance transparency and oversight of any immigrant enforcement operations happening in your community and create avenues for community input on data and decisions being made relating to immigrants.
5. Decline to contract or enter into certain agreements with ICE.
6. Create processes to preserve immigrants’ rights for those subject to immigration detainers.

Immigrants should not be penalized simply because the federal government has failed to fix its broken immigration system. They should not have to live, travel or work with fear, and we should not be wasting local resources to target immigrants who are simply looking to work for a better life.

Sincerely,

[First Name] [Last Name]
[Your Address]

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