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Latino Daily News

Thursday June 23, 2011

Advocates Worry a Texas Bill Could Result in “Harmless Immigrants” Being Detained Indefinitely

Advocates Worry a Texas Bill Could Result in “Harmless Immigrants” Being Detained Indefinitely

Photo: Advocates Worry a Texas Bill Could Result in "Harmless Immigrants" Being Detained Indefinitely

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Immigration activists in Florida are keeping a watchful eye on a Texas bill that could allow immigrants to be detained for long periods, whether they are violent offenders or not.

Texas Republican Rep. Lamar Smith introduced the bill, which would call for undocumented immigrants to be sent to jail until they are deported, even if they have not been convicted of any other crime.

Miami activist are particularly worried about the bill’s passing, as Cubans coming to the U.S. would likely be among those most affected by it.

Susan Barciela of the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center told UP “This bill is so sweeping that it would result in thousands of harmless immigrants being jailed for years—among them, asylum seekers and torture survivors.”

This bill looks to overturn a 2001 and 2005 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, which removed power for such detention from immigration services.