Pasco Sheriff Makes Agreement with ICE to Enforce Federal Immigration Laws

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. – Pasco deputies will begin to enforce a section of federal law that allows deputies to hold immigration suspects until ICE agents can take custody of them.

Margartia Romo said she was so upset over the latest move in the immigration debate, it exasperated her heart issues and put her in the hospital.

“Even though they want to say there is no racism in Pasco County there is. I’ve been here almost 40 years. I’ve seen it and I’ve felt it,” Romo said.

The longtime activist in Dade City said she does’t seen the good side of Pasco County enforcing 287-G. It’s a section of federal law that allows deputies to hold immigration suspects until ICE agents can take custody of them.

“The minute they arrest one person because he was driving without a license that’s going to be the answer to what we want to know. What is the crime? How are you going to decide who immigration takes and who he leaves,” said Romo.

But Sheriff Chris Nocco said the agreement will help protect the county against lawsuits that come from the legality over detainment and deportation.

“The only time we are involved is after we have made an arrest on another charge,” he said.

He said only deputies inside the jail will be able to check immigration status for inmates.

“We are not going out in the community. And we are not looking for people here illegally proactively.”

Romo is worried that this will lead to deputies profiling, and what might happen to families that have lived here for years.

“I’m concerned what is going to happen to the DACA kids, if their parents are undocumented. We don’t know what’s going to happen to DACA kids yet.”

Pasco County is the first agency in the Tampa Bay area to make this agreement, and only the fourth in all of Florida.

By Erik Waxler for ABC ACTION NEWS
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