‘The Rights of Immigrants in Donald Trump’s America’ to be focus of next ‘Ask the ACLU’ discussion series

Sarasota Chapter of ACLU of Florida planning Jan. 5 session at Fogartyville Café in Sarasota; event is free

Image from the ACLU of Florida website

The Rights of Immigrants in Donald Trump’s America will be the next topic of the Sarasota Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida’s monthly discussion series, Ask the ACLU, the organization has announced.

The forum, which will take place on Thursday, Jan. 5, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Fogartyville Café, will be free and open to the community; light refreshments will be served. The café is located at 525 Kumquat Court in Sarasota.

President-elect Donald Trump has promised to deport more than 3 million immigrants who have committed crimes, a news release says. But that would mean the undertaking of raids by a vastly larger federal immigration force then the one in existence, the release points out.” Is this really possible?” the release asks. “If so, what impact could this have on our community?” A panel of attorneys and a former investigator of the Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency will explain what this could mean to the immigrants of this country, the release adds.

The panelists will be as follows:

  • Carlos Tolentino, who retired from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service and ICE after 28 years. He served as a Border Patrol agent, an immigration inspector, a special agent, a deportation officer, a prosecution officer and a supervisor detention deportation officer, the release says.
  • Sui Chung specializes in removal defense with the Immigration Law & Litigation Group in Miami. The American Immigration Lawyers Association awarded her the Michael Maggio Pro Bono Service Award after she established the Krome Mental Incompetency Project, the release notes.
  • Michael Vastine is a professor of law and director of the Immigration Clinic at St. Thomas University School of Law, where he has taught since 2004, the release continues. Since 2011, he has served on the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) South Florida Chapter Board of Directors, presently as first vice president.

“The Sarasota Chapter of the ACLU of Florida launched the discussion series in response to concerns over a slate of policies proposed by President-elect Trump during the presidential campaign, which the ACLU has stated would, if enacted, violate the constitutional rights of many people in America,” the release explains.

“Our first program [held in 2016] was an unqualified success — it was standing-room-only, as members of the community came to learn about their rights as protesters,” said Pete Tannen, president of the Sarasota chapter of the ACLU, in the release. “The ACLU continues to be troubled by deportation proceedings where individuals are denied a hearing, never seen by an immigration judge and are deported with no regard for due process,” Tannen added in the release. “The immigration system is already rife with an unnecessary and unconstitutional lack of rights that you won’t find in the criminal justice system.”

Future programs are planned on the following topics: Discrimination, Registries, and Surveillance in America (Feb. 2); Protecting and Defending Abortion Rights (April 6); Protecting and Defending LGBT Rights (May 4); and Police, Community Relations and Race-based Policing (June 1). All programs are non-partisan; the goal is to inform and empower the public, the release points out.

For more information about the Sarasota Chapter of the ACLU and these programs, call Pete Tannen at 306-1937 or visit sarasota.aclufl.org.