Rubio staffer told the police officers in the room that one of the people in the room “is here illegally.”
By Cathy Kristofferson, June 25, 2013
Today during the GetEQUAL action Senator Rubio’s (R-FL) Tampa office, a Rubio senior staffer – his Regional Director – tried to have GetEQUAL’s Co-Director Felipe Sousa-Rodriguez deported. The Rubio staffer directed police officers to Felipe. The officers in turn asked Felipe for his “papers” in direct violation of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) program Secure Communities (S-COMM) rules.
From GetEQUAL’s Press Release:
As these activists were being led away from Sen. Rubio’s office for drawing attention to these regressive views and to call on Sen. Rubio to “evolve” his views on immigration and employment discrimination, a Rubio staffer told the police officers in the room that one of the people in the room — GetEQUAL Co-Director Felipe Sousa-Rodriguez — “is here illegally.”
Despite the fact that Felipe was serving in a support role and was not risking arrest or otherwise breaking any laws, the officer proceeded to ask Felipe whether he has papers, and asked to see his drivers license.
Felipe is undocumented, sent to the U.S. by his mother in Brazil. He has a work permit under the Obama Administration’s “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” program (or DACA). He is also a DREAMer — the name given to young people brought or sent to the U.S. by family members to escape poverty and seek a better life.
Under the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) program Secure Communities (S-COMM), law enforcement officers are not permitted to ask about an individual’s immigration status unless a law has been broken (http://www.ice.gov/secure_communities/). Even if an undocumented immigrant breaks the law and is arrested, ICE policies still do not require the individual to answer questions about her or his immigration status.
It’s not hard to see now why Senator Rubio does not support either the Employment Non-Discrimination Act nor will he support Comprehensive Immigration Reform if it contains any relief to the LGBT community.
As Felipe reported:
“It’s no wonder Senator Rubio embraced the ‘Border Surge’ amendment in the Senate yesterday, which will destroy border towns and immigrant families — his staff are doing exactly the same thing in their own office,” said Felipe Sousa Rodriguez. “The idea that Senator Rubio is taking immigration reform seriously is a joke — even his staff is engaged in profiling immigrants and deporting as many people as possible. Rubio is not just anti-LGBT, but he’s also anti-immigrant.”