Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a measure on Friday that would prohibit Florida cities from being “sanctuary cities” for illegal immigrants and would require them to “cooperate with federal immigration enforcement.”
“Earlier this year, I made a promise that we would ban sanctuary cities in Florida and today we are delivering on that promise,” DeSantis said in a statement after signing the Federal Immigration Enforcement bill.
“This is about public safety, not about politics.”
The Republican governor concluded saying they must do “everything in our power” to “ensure that our communities are safe.”
Liberal-leaning cities and local authorities across America have often ignored Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainers that tell local authorities not to release certain illegal immigrants suspected of criminal offenses, Fox News reported.
While there are no “sanctuary cities” in Florida, Florida has one county that currently ignores these ICE detainers, according to the Center for Immigration Studies.
The Federal Immigration Enforcement bill narrowly passed with a 22-18 vote in the state’s Senate. However, it easily passed in the House with a whopping 20-point margin, Fox News reported.
The signing of the bill, however, hasn’t come without its share of criticisms.
Scott McCoy, senior policy counsel for the Southern Poverty Law Center Action Fund, said in a statement, “Laws like this are proven to negatively impact people in immigrant communities, who will be less likely to report crime to the police or cooperate with investigations, for fear of immigration enforcement against themselves or their neighbors,” according to the Miami Herald.
He added that DeSantis and other Florida Republican lawmakers are trying to “drive a wedge between Floridians.”
The American Civil Liberties Union also slammed the law on Twitter saying it was “anti-immigrant, unconstitutional, inhumane, and hurts our families and communities.”
Today, Gov. DeSantis signed the un-American SB 168 bill into law, a reckless expansion of state government and an affront to the democratic values we share. The law is anti-immigrant, unconstitutional, inhumane, and hurts our families and communities. https://t.co/TINM9hwvEx
— ACLU of Florida (@ACLUFL) June 14, 2019
The law is suspected to have its own legal challenges as well.
Andrea Mercado of the New Florida Majority group, says she “will back legal challenges to this law,” according to the Miami Herald.
Some local law enforcement agencies, however, are praising the bill.
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri told the Miami Herald that this bill doesn’t change what they’ve been doing for years.
“This is not dealing with what cops deal with on the street. This has nothing to do with turning people over [to ICE],” said.
“It only has to do with criminals that are in the jail who ICE has a warrant to further arrest. It’s us serving that warrant for the arrest.”
He then slammed critics of the bill as well as those who want to challenge the legality of the bill saying they were “spinning” the bill “the wrong way.”
“It is lawful. It is legal. … It doesn’t violate any other laws,” he said.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.