This page is for historical purposes only as the suit was dismissed: 

Lawsuit against sheriff over immigrant rights tossed

November 23, 2010

Apparent Harassment Lawsuit Filed to Intimidate Florida Sheriffs

A lawsuit has been filed against Palm Beach County Sheriff Bradshaw as a result of an immigration hold (detainer) placed on Guatemalan Marcotulio Mendez by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).  The lawsuit alleges Sheriff is "violating immigrants' constitutional rights by keeping them in jail."   

While full details and proper legal analysis of the lawsuit are not now available, it is the initial analysis of FLIMEN that the lawsuit is a frivolous, well-orchestrated attempt to intimidate law enforcement officers against enforcement of immigration law.  The tight-knit left-wing groups involved are El Sol, the Florida Immigrant Coalition and the Florida ACLU.  

Consider the following points:

  • Immigration Holds (detainer) are federally authorized orders under the Executive branch, not under the Judicial branch.  So called 'immigrant rights' activists have long sought all immigration rulings be moved to the Judicial branch instead of the Executive Branch.   A move to the Judicial branch has long been opposed by leading groups such as FAIR. 
  • Barry Silver, a former Florida State Representative, is well-known for filing frivolous lawsuits on behalf of left-wing causes.  Mr. Silver has been heavily involved with the Palm Beach County Environmental Coalition along side Lake Worth Commissioner Cara Jennings.  It was Barry Silver  who defended Peter "Panagioti" Tsolkas, the best friend of   Cara Jennings.  Ms. Jennings was instrumental in opening of the Lake Worth Illegal Alien Hiring Hall along with Lake Worth Mayor Jeff Clemens.
  • The taxpayer-assisted El Sol Neighborhood Resource Center with Attorney Jill Hanson as Director has joined the lawsuit as plaintiff.
  • The Florida Immigrant Coalition includes groups such as ACORN.  Note that the Palm Beach (Com)Post reported the group's name as Florida Immigration Coalition but that is incorrect.  See
  • The ACLU sent out a warning to law enforcement agencies statewide prior to the lawsuit, demonstrating co-ordination with other groups.  While not illegal or unethical, it is useful for citizens to understand the sophisticated manipulation of the law enforcement by left-wing groups.
  • The Palm Beach (Com)Post article headline states "minor charges."  However, how many victims of accidents caused by illegal aliens consider unlawful presence, driving without a license and fleeing from police as "minor?"
  • Based solely on the article below it is curious that the Plaintiff alleges "state judges have said they can be released on bond."  From a legal standpoint, whatever a state judge says is probably irrelevant because of the "supremacy clause" where federal law supercedes state law. 
  • Barry Silver states; "he is hopeful  the action sends a message to other Florida sheriff's."  It is interesting that the quotation from the Plaintiff's Attorney is an implied threat rather than a statement promoting the merit of his case. 

In conclusion, FLIMEN suspects this lawsuit to be more intimidation in nature than a lawsuit based on real merit.  It seems highly unlikely that a court would overturn the federal authority of detainer.  

FLIMEN will track this lawsuit and will provide further more authoritative details as they develop.

Read the article at:

September 10, 2009