Immigration

·   October 23, 2017: The majority of the PACT members voted on Immigration as the problem area.

·   February 2018: After 3 months of research, our immigration committee voted to focus on two problem areas 1. Too many people are arrested and detained for minor offenses and 2. Too many people do not have access to basic services.

 

Problem: Too many people are arrested and detained for minor offenses.

·         It is understandable for our county to spend money arresting and detaining individuals with serious offenses. However, there are too many people going to Miami Dade County jails and being detained or deported without any serious criminal activity. 

·         Detaining and arresting individuals for non-violent, non-serious offenses wastes County dollars, separates families, and causes individuals to be in jail instead of being at work, going to school, or caring for loved ones.

·         Since May 2015, there were over 3,703 people who were booked in Miami Dade County jail for driving without a valid license. (Miami Dade County, Department of Corrections, Jail Bookings, May 2015-February2018)

§  It costs at least $4,000 per person to book and arrest someone, which means that the county spent almost $15 million dollars arresting these individuals for a minor, nonviolent offense.

§  This is only one example of people arrested for a minor, nonviolent offense – there are many others.

·         In the last year, 765 people were detained in jail because ICE requested them to stay.

Of the 765 people detained, ICE officials had picked up approximately 56% of the 765  (429) individuals.

§  Therefore 44% of people (336) were held in jail for ICE only to be released back to their Miami homes.

§  The County spent $13.6 million dollars holding this group of people in county jails.  (The Cost of Complicity Report, 2018)

·         This solution will likely involve more than just the County. There are 34 municipalities with separate police departments. However, we believe that the County can lead the way in expanding solutions.

·         There are different ways that our goal could be accomplished:

§  By expanding the number of municipalities using Civil Citations (There are eleven municipalities not opting into the County’s adult Civil Citation program).

§  By allowing Civil Citations for a broader range of offenses.

§  By having more police departments expand training, accountability, and directives to ensure that people are not brought to jail for minor offenses, including driving offenses.

What are we asking for tonight? For County Commissioners to champion a plan for our county to lower the number of individuals detained and arrested for minor offenses.

 

Problem: Too many people do not have access to basic services.

·         Thousands of people do not have local identification cards or proof of identification.

·         Local IDs is an issue of public safety and an issue of access to local institutions and services.

·         Benefits to a local ID:

         §  This would assist people without identification such as someone who is homeless, undocumented individuals, and ex-offenders.  It is not a driver’s license.

         §  Why does someone need a municipal ID: to have proof of identity, to pick up children from school, to access gated communities to perform work functions, to use bank services, to use libraries, and to other basic services.

         §  Once a municipal ID is established, agreements can be established with additional institutions, such as banks, law enforcement, and other institutions to ensure that the ID is accepted for additional services.

·         In order to reduce fear of individuals to apply for a municipal ID, other counties have developed an administration process of IDs that do not maintain records of documents that could be used for unintended purposes.

·         Dozens of cities and counties, such as Baltimore, Detroit, Newark, and New York City offer Municipal IDs