Fulfilling a promise he made when he successfully campaigned for governor in 2018, on Friday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will sign 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.
The Orlando Sentinel reported that DeSantis spokeswoman Helen Ferre sent the Sentinel an email stating: "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. 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."
The Sentinel noted that supporters of the bill have urged local governments and law-enforcement agencies to cooperate with federal immigration detainers and share information with federal immigration authorities once illegal immigrants have been detained.
The bill, SB 168, flatly states, “A state entity, law enforcement agency, or local governmental entity may not adopt or have in effect a sanctuary policy.”
The bill explains exactly what that entails:
“Sanctuary policy” means a law, policy, practice, procedure, or custom adopted or allowed by a state entity or local governmental entity which prohibits or impedes a law enforcement agency from complying with 8 U.S.C. s. 1373 or which prohibits or impedes a law enforcement agency from communicating or cooperating with a federal immigration agency so as to limit such law enforcement agency in, or prohibit the agency from:
(a) Complying with an immigration detainer;
(b) Complying with a request from a federal immigration agency to notify the agency before the release of an inmate or detainee in the custody of the law enforcement agency;
(c) Providing a federal immigration agency access to an inmate for interview;
(d) Participating in any program or agreement authorized under section 287 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. s. 1357; or
(e) Providing a federal immigration agency with an inmate’s incarceration status or release date.
In May, DeSantis warned the U.S. Border Patrol not to transfer illegal immigrants to Broward and Palm Beach counties. Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw and Broward Mayor Mark Bogen had stated that U.S. Border Patrol said that two planeloads of immigrants would be transferred to those counties each week, roughly 500 per month to each county. DeSantis said he was going to communicate with President Trump, according to the Orlando Sentinel, asserting, “Nothing’s concrete. There’s been no migrants brought, released, in Florida. This was not something that came down from the White House. This is something that came out of the agency. Sometimes this stuff happens. Ultimately this is something I’m going to have to talk to the president about. We cannot accommodate in Florida just dumping unlawful migrants into our state. I think it’ll tax our resources, schools and health care, law enforcement, state agencies.”
Fox News noted, “Nine states -- they are Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Iowa, North Carolina, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas -- have passed laws requiring law enforcement to cooperate with ICE.”