About the Project
The Collier County Neighborhood Stories Project is a grassroots effort to engage and empower immigrant community members to enter in dialogue about the police abuses they have experienced and witnessed in their daily lives. In places like California and Arizona, community groups and members have come together to share their stories and have found successful ways to move forward. Using a story telling model will help this project find its success.This project is made possible by the Open Society Foundation Soros Justice Fellowship granted to Grey Torrico.
Context for the Project
Florida was the first state to sign a 287g agreement giving its law enforcement officers powers to enforce immigration law. It is the second state to fully implement the Secure Communities program that forces local law enforcement to share fingerprints of immigrants with Immigration, Customs and Enforcement (ICE). This is known in the immigrant community as the "poli-migra" or the intersection between local police and ICE. The effects that 287g and Secure Communities have on the community are tremendous. Its biggest one being the fear that is widespread across Collier County where people-who may have been subject to questionable police practices or even a witness to them-are unable to come forward.
Criminal Justice Perspective
Immigrants are the fastest growing segment of the prison population. In Florida, communities of color are increasingly foreign born. This changing demographic has also made it easier for racial profiling and repressive policing practices to have a deeper and more immediate impact on communities. The ability of the immigration system to marginalize a sector of the community is increasing because the axis of power at, a local realm, now involves law enforcement authorized to enforce federal laws. In sum, the same system that was used to increase mass incarceration is being rebooted and retooled to perpetuate mass incarceration and deportation.
FLIC is an 501c3 non-profit organization with offices in Miami, Tampa and Palm Beach and membership of over 100 diverse organizations that come together for the fair treatment of all people, including immigrants. They are the hosting organization for this project.
NNIRR is a national organization composed of local coalitions and immigrant, refugee, community, religious, civil rights, labor organizations and activists. It serves as a forum to share information and analysis, to educate communities and the general public and to develop and coordinate plans of action on important immigrant and refugee issues. They work to promote a just immigration and refugee policy in the United States and to defend and expand the rights of all immigrants and refugees, regardless of immigration status. They are sharing their MARTUS database as well as their curriculum with this project.
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Collier County Neighborhood Stories Project
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