The city of West Palm Beach is suing the Justice Department to protest the immigration policies put into place and enforced by the Trump administration and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). As one of 23 cities specifically targeted by the federal government as sanctuary cities, West Palm Beach could be in danger of losing federal grants used to support law enforcement within the city.
In January 2018, the U.S. Department of Justice sent a letter to West Palm Beach threatening subpoenas and requesting documentation proving that the city is not withholding information on undocumented immigrants in its custody. According to the Justice Department, cities and other jurisdictions that do not show evidence of compliance with ICE could be barred from receiving federal funding for law enforcement agencies.
A Welcoming City for Immigrants
West Palm Beach passed legislation in March of 2017 establishing itself as a “welcoming city” for legal and undocumented immigrants and preventing city officials and employees from inquiring about the immigration status of individuals with whom they come into contact. The legislation also prohibits cooperating with immigration investigations except as required by state or federal law. The policies put in place by West Palm Beach are intended to provide immigrants with added peace of mind when reporting crimes, obtaining health services and enrolling their children in school.
A Pattern of Increased Enforcement
The latest move by the Justice Department follows on the heels of several incidents in which ICE officials have detained immigrants without access to a West Palm Beach immigration lawyer and without other legal recourse. While ICE and the Justice Department cite concerns about violent individuals and crimes committed by undocumented individuals, many of those detained and deported were initially cited for minor traffic offenses. In some cases, the individuals had committed no crime other than being undocumented in the U.S.
If you need a reliable and knowledgeable West Palm Beach immigration lawyer, Pozo Goldstein can provide you with the most assertive representation and the best options for you and your family. Our team consists of dedicated attorneys with extensive experience in the immigration field and includes a former judge and two former prosecutors, allowing us to provide you with the most effective solutions for your situation. Call us today at 561-578-4977 to set up a free consultation with our legal team. At Pozo Goldstein, we are here to help you and your family resolve your immigration issues and to remain here legally and safely.