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Immigration, civil rights groups “skeptical” of ICE fingerprinting program used in Florida

Subhash Kateel, of the Florida Immigrant Coalition, calls Florida a testing ground for Immigration and Customs Enforcement programs. For evidence, he points to the state's embrace of Section 287(g) — a provision in federal law that allows state and local law enforcement agencies to perform immigration law enforcement functions — and to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's implementation of ICE's Secure Communities program — a fingerprint-sharing system that grants local law enforcement agencies access to FBI criminal history records and Department of Homeland Security immigration records as part of the effort to identify and remove criminal aliens from the United States. Secure Communities is controversial, though. Not all of Florida's law enforcement agencies are enthusiastic about enforcing immigration law, statistics provided by ICE raise questions about how effective the Secure Communities system is at identifying and removing major criminals, and immigration and civil rights activists say they're skeptical of the program.

Southwest Florida Watershed Council member defends EPA water rules in new op-ed

John Cassani, a member of the Southwest Florida Watershed Council, is one of the few siding with the EPA in the debate over Florida's water quality problem. In a recent op-ed published in The News-Press, Cassani argues that the EPA's proposed numeric nutrient criteria (a set of standards to limit nitrogen and phosphorus in Florida waterways) are imperative for the health of Florida's environment.