MIAMI (CBSMiami) – New immigration rules announced on Tuesday could lead to widespread deportations in South Florida, where it’s estimated there are 450,000 undocumented immigrants.
On Thursday, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz met with immigration officials before briefing local mayors on what the impact could be on their communities.
“This is devastating,” she declared. “There will be a significant expansion of detentions and deportations for people who have not committed a crime, who have done nothing more than provide for their families.”
There are many questions about where detainees will go, whether families will be split up, the role of local law enforcement and how much cities will have to pay.
“I’m sure there is fear all over. I’m getting calls,” said Pembroke Pines Mayor Frank Ortis. “There is so much out there it is hard to digest.”
Broward County Commissioner Nan Rich added the new rules hadn’t “been all thought out.”
Hundreds of immigration and border patrol agents will have to be hired to expand deportations. And since the money has to come from Congress, Wasserman Schultz says that is where the deportation battle will begin.
She says she will work against funding the hire of additional agents.