Fulfilling a promise he made when he successfully campaigned for governor in 2018, on Friday Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a bill that will ban sanctuary cities in Florida. The bill, which was passed on May 2 by both the Florida House and Senate, was sent to DeSantis on Thursday.
DeSantis promised to ban sanctuary cities during his campaign for governor last year. The bill, which calls for one of the toughest bans on sanctuary cities in the nation, was formally sent to the governor Thursday.
The House and Senate passed the bill May 2 after heavy debate and a backlash from Democrats and immigrant-rights groups. Supporters of the bill pushed to force local governments and law-enforcement agencies to fully comply with federal immigration detainers and share information with federal immigration authorities after undocumented immigrants are detained.
Under the bill, local governments would be required to “use their best efforts to support the enforcement of federal immigration law.”
Gruters said undocumented immigrants living in the state, an estimated 200,000 people, should not fear the bill if they do not break the law. But Democrats argued minor offenses such as jaywalking or driving without a license could lead to deportation, which could strain immigrants’ relations with police.
The bill (SB 168) will add to other efforts by DeSantis to increase cooperation with federal immigration authorities, including trying to spur local law-enforcement agencies and the Florida Department of Corrections to enter into cooperative agreements that allow local and state correctional officers to perform some of the duties of federal immigration agents.
“Earlier this year, Governor DeSantis asked the Florida Legislature to present him with meaningful legislation 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,”
DeSantis spokeswoman Helen Ferre said in an email Thursday. “Public safety is paramount and local law enforcement agencies can and should work with the federal government to ensure that accountability and justice are one in our state.”
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