Q&A – Local Law Enforcement And Florida's Sanctuary Policy

Today’s question - I don’t know how this will solve the problems with sanctuary cities considering local police departments don’t arrest offenders. It’s been my past experience that they avoid arrest so as not to make a (black mark) on the record, thus avoiding being labeled a sanctuary city. I should have recorded my experiences of past so there would have been proof instead of my hear-say. It's my opinion that until we get co-operation from local police and council members to stop protecting illegals, it will never change. Must be all about the money. Hopefully, I haven’t entered an area of conversation where I shouldn’t be, but it makes me mad to see criminals get treated better than the people affected, referring to the wife of one of the ambulance drivers here myself.

Bottom Line: You’re not the only who has concerns about those who lack legal status being treated better “under the law” than legal citizens. It’s completely valid based on some of what we’ve seen play out. 

On Friday, the State Senate was expected to take up largely the same version on sanctuary cities that passed the House last week. It didn’t. It took up a version that had a few additional amendments in it. The House version requires law enforcement to obtain immigration status for anyone arrested. It also requires that they yield to appropriate jurisdiction, federal authorities for undocumented individuals. Any public officials in violation would be fined and/or removed from office and it'll take effect 90 days after passage.

The changes from the Senate version mentioned no fines included for local officials who don’t comply but potential removal by the governor remains in play. Any undocumented individual cooperating with an ongoing investigation would be excluded from being handed over to federal authorities indefinitely and all documentation obtained during the detainment of an illegal immigrant would have to be retained for a minimum of ten years. 

The question now becomes what the House decides to do with these changes. Without much time left in the session, they'll have to figure it out quickly or risk failing to pass legislation that was a cornerstone of the governor’s platform and essentially promised by leadership in the House and Senate. 

In speaking with House sponsor Rep. Cord Byrd, he made clear that local law enforcement has broad authority as to who they detain, charge and arrest. If local law enforcement doesn’t arrest someone who lacks status, the rest of the reform would be a moot point. 

Submit your question using one of these methods. 

Email: brianmudd@iheartmedia.com

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Photo by: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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