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ACLU Criticizes Polk County Shelter ID Requirements

Hurricane Irma approaching Anguilla from NOAA's GOES-16 satellite.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida is deriding the Polk County Sheriff’s decision to check IDs for all evacuees seeking shelter in his county.

Sheriff Grady Judd announced the move in a series of tweets this week.  He justifies the requirement as a way to protect people from sex offenders, and the Miami Herald reports the move appears legal.  But ACLU executive director Howard Simon says now is not the time.

“Most outstanding warrants are for unpaid parking tickets,” Simon says, “and nobody should be forced to endanger themselves or their families in the face of this biggest natural disaster for god’s sake for an unpaid traffic ticket.”

In Houston, rumors of police asking for identification after Hurricane Harvey stoked fears among undocumented Texans.  

Sheriff Judd says the county jail is a secure shelter and he urges people with a warrant to turn themselves in. 

Nick Evans came to Tallahassee to pursue a masters in communications at Florida State University. He graduated in 2014, but not before picking up an internship at WFSU. While he worked on his degree Nick moved from intern, to part-timer, to full-time reporter. Before moving to Tallahassee, Nick lived in and around the San Francisco Bay Area for 15 years. He listens to far too many podcasts and is a die-hard 49ers football fan. When Nick’s not at work he likes to cook, play music and read.