Florida House Votes For Sanctuary Cities Reform

Florida’s House voted in favor of “Sanctuary Cities” reform. This reform would hold local officials accountable if they don’t fully comply with immigration authorities on undocumented individuals. Today, the Senate is set to take it up and likely pass it through to Governor DeSantis.

Immigration is a federal issue and local governments have no authority to intervene on the issue under any circumstance. What you might be surprised to know is that less than half of Florida fully complies with federal authority on the issue. Only 29 out of 67 counties in Florida have full ICE detainer agreements in place. In South Florida, only Monroe County operates with one.

You’ll often hear from local governments that they’re not “sanctuary counties or cities” but that’s only somewhat true. There’s a jurisdiction with any crime that’s committed. Just as every bank robbery is a federal offense, every illegal immigrant is a federal offense. No local government has any authority on the matter. 

The game that’s often played at the local level in Florida with non-complicit local governments, is that they’ll respond to any ICE detainer requests that come about, thereby proclaiming that they’re not “sanctuary counties or cities” but they often won’t contact or work with federal authorities proactively when undocumented people are detained. 

The new law will require law enforcement to obtain immigration status for anyone arrested. It will require that they yield to appropriate jurisdiction, federal authorities for undocumented individuals. Any public officials in violation would be fined and/or removed from office. This will take effect 90 days after passage.

Seems like common sense but then again, I believe in the rule of law. It’s remarkable how many people in government, and the ACLU, don’t. 

Photo by: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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