Latinos in Immokalee still weary of checkpoints
By Andre Senior in WFTX-TV
IMMOKALEE, Fla. - Safety checkpoints by the Collier County Sheriff's Department continues to draw suspicion from Hispanics in the Immokalee community. Many of them believe that the only reason that the checkpoints are in place is to track those who are undocumented, an accusation that the sheriff's department denies. "In Immokalee a lot of families feel alarmed and a lot of them feel terrorized because they're not sure if their family members will be coming home that day," said Adan Labra, an advocate for farm workers in the area. Labra says he has heard a number of stories of people being targeted and detained during checkpoints in the area. The sheriff's department confirms that of the 18 safety checkpoints throughout the county since 20-10, half of them have been in the Immokalee area.
"If you are undocumented...you're driving without a license this is a mechanism that will send you to detention," said Gray Torrico. In the last two and a half years, 16 people stopped at checkpoints were detained by the U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement. "Just like the sheriff's department wants to build trust and safety that's what we want to do."