On Thursday, Florida’s state Senate passed a bill that would ban sanctuary cities in the state. The state’s House of Representatives passed a similar bill last week, and the law will now head to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ desk to be signed.
In case you need a brush up, sanctuary cities or counties are municipalities that have policies curbing law enforcement cooperation with federal immigration agencies like Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Most conservatives oppose sanctuary cities, and paint welcoming undocumented immigrants as dangerous. But this bill seems to be more of a PR move than a response to any reality, considering that no sanctuary cities or counties currently exist in Florida. Similar laws have popped up in states like Virginia and Tennessee over the last year.
DeSantis, who was elected in 2018 in a tight race against Andrew Gillum, spoke frequently about banning sanctuary cities during his incredibly racist campaign.
He tweeted in favor of the bill after it was passed.
Once the bill is in effect, it will require all local authorities to honor requests from federal immigration authorities, holding detainees so they can be picked up by an agency like ICE and subjected to detainment or deportation.
However, the ACLU has warned against traveling to Florida if the law goes into effect.
“If Florida State Bill 168 and House Bill 527 pass, it would undermine local governments’ ability to protect the civil rights of their residents by forcing local officials to cooperate with ICE. It would also put immigrants at risk of violence, potentially forcing victims and witnesses to stay silent for fear of deportation,” the ACLU’s Florida branch says on its website.
“Both Florida residents, citizens and non-citizens, and travelers could face risks of being racially profiled and being detained without probable cause,” they added.
Sanctuary cities have been in the news recently, after a report from the New York Times revealed that President Trump considered sending undocumented immigrants detained at the border to sanctuary cities like San Francisco as a way to somehow “punish” Democrats. Despite the patent absurdity of this plan, Trump has said since then that he’s still considering it.
“Due to the fact that Democrats are unwilling to change our very dangerous immigration laws, we are indeed, as reported, giving strong considerations to placing Illegal Immigrants in Sanctuary Cities only....” Trump tweeted on April 13th. “The Radical Left always seems to have an Open Borders, Open Arms policy–so this should make them very happy!”