Florida Governor signs legislation banning sanctuary cities

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Source: Governor's Press Office

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law legislation banning sanctuary cities across the state, delivering on his campaign promise.

In a statement on Friday, Gov. DeSantis said, “Earlier this year, I made a promise that we would ban sanctuary cities in Florida and today we are delivering on that promise.”

He added, “I am proud to sign the bill presented to me by the Florida Legislature to uphold the rule of law and ensure that no city or county jurisdiction can get in the way of Florida’s cooperation with our federal partners to enforce immigration law. This is about public safety, not about politics. We must do everything within our power, and use all the tools available to us, to ensure that our communities are safe.”

Key provisions of the anti-sanctuary legislation

Florida State Representative Cord Byrd introduced SB 168, which prohibits state agencies and local governments from implementing sanctuary policies. It requires the repeal of any existing sanctuary policies.

Additionally, the legislation requires state agencies, local governments and law enforcement agencies to support federal immigration enforcement.

Furthermore, it authorized a law enforcement agency to detain a person is there is probable cause that he or she is removable under immigration laws.

The Governor and the State Attorney General can initiate enforcement actions against entities that violate any provision of SB 168.

“It has been my honor to stand with Governor DeSantis and Senator Gruters to ensure that Florida is a state that respects the rule of law and the public safety of its citizens, said Rep. Byrd.

On the other hand, State Sen. Joe Gruters, commented “Florida has once again stepped up when Washington D.C. has failed by passing the strongest ban of sanctuary cities in the country.  This law ensures we do not treat non-citizens better than Americans and it will help ensure Floridians are not being victimized by illegal aliens. This legislation will ensure that our law enforcement agencies are able to cooperate with federal authorities and will get illegal criminals aliens off our streets.”

Critic says SB 168 is unconstitutional

Meanwhile, Scott McCoy, the Senior Policy Counsel of Southern Poverty Law Center, stated that SB 168 is “dangerous, unnecessary, and unconstitutional.”

He emphasized that the legislation will prevent people from immigration communities to report crime to the police or cooperate with investigations.

McCoy said, “The legislation inhumanely separates families, tearing apart parents and their children, while doing nothing to address legitimate public safety concerns. This can have traumatic long-term effects on our youth and our communities… It violates the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on unreasonable seizure, will lead to the violation of constitutional rights, and will subject law enforcement to costly litigation.”