Southwest Weekly Roundup

Here are some headlines that you may have missed this week:

  • Kathryn Varn delivered a great profile on controversial Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri in this week’s Tampa Bay Times.

Varn’s profile digs deep into Gaultieri’s tenacious rise through the ranks of law enforcement and his recent forays into advocacy for arming Florida’s teachers and introducing the Warrant Service Officer Program for several county law enforcement agencies to serve ICE warrants to the undocumented in jail.

Don’t worry, it’s not the dreaded one.

  • Manatee County Commissioners decided this week to place the future location of a Confederate memorial statue on the 2020 ballot for Manatee voters. Via the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

In other news…….

Anything I missed? Let me know, and I’d love to hear your comments below.

-Alex

A Manatee Dreamer Helps Her Community as DACA Fades

On Sunday, Holy Cross Catholic Church of Palmetto hosted the Protect the People Clinic & DACA Renewal, an event organized by the Florida Immigrant Coalition (FLIC). The event offered information on civil rights, free legal screenings, and emergency planning for Manatee county residents looking to impacted by the September repeal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. FLIC volunteer coordinator Patricia Lara, 29, of Bradenton, is a DACA recipient and a Manatee local.

“It’s Manatee County, you know, it’s home. This is where I’ve been since kindergarten through graduation,” Clara said. “That’s why I love working in it, because I know everybody, I know where everything is.”

According to Migration Policy Institute data, as of September 2017 there are an estimated 27,000 DACA recipients in the state of Florida, where 72,000 non recipients meet the requirements to apply. For the immigrant community in Manatee, the County’s health department currently offers the immigrant community medical examinations and immunizations required for immigration status. On Jan. 17 the Bradenton Herald reported the partnership between the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office partnership with ICE to hold arrested undocumented immigrants for up to 48 hours as a part of “basic ordering agreement.” According to the Herald article, Sheriff Rick Wells commented in response to the agreement, “We’re just trying to keep our community safe, and when you have a criminal illegal alien who has been committing crimes in our community, they need to be held accountable.”

DSC_8552
Patricia Lara, 29, of Bradenton checks in arrivals at the event. (Photo: Alexander Michael Buono)

To Lara, it is crucial that the immigrant community knows their rights to protect their loved ones in Manatee County, especially in the current political climate.

“Just to know how they can keep themselves and their family’s safe and protected and make sure that they understand that the even though they don’t have a documented status here, they still have civil rights.”

To learn more about the Florida Immigrant Coalition, click here.