Military and Police

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Signs Bill Prohibiting ‘Sanctuary Cities’

It’s official. Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis has signed a bill prohibiting “sanctuary cities” in the Sunshine State. Upon officially applying ink to Senate Bill 168 —titled “Federal Immigration Enforcement“— Governor DeSantis tweeted how proud he was to ensure Florida remains free of sanctuary city locales and the aiding and abetting practices for which they are known.

On May 2, 2019, voting on Bill 168 passed the House with 68 Yeas and 45 Nays; it also passed the Senate with 22 Yeas and 18 Nays.

The bill outlaws so-called sanctuary city policies and enables “law enforcement agencies to use best efforts to support the enforcement of federal immigration law,” contrary to the “Abolish ICE” dogma we have seen among sanctuary jurisdictions across the American landscape.

In essence, unlike California’s sanctuary state declaration and its myriad woes, now Florida’s local governments in all of its 67 counties are banned from providing sanctuary to illegal immigrants. Detainers for deportation are a go. County deputies and municipal police officers will enjoy the solidarity with federal agents, specifically as it relates to enforcement of immigrations laws, the way it is supposed to be.

Although the Miami Herald correctly reported there are currently no sanctuary “cities” in the state of Florida (today’s bill is a preemptive strike), there existed, however, a few dissenters. Three Florida counties claim sanctuary status. I found one listed among the roles kept by the Center for Immigration Studies—Alachua County was named. In another site, Dopplr listed both Clay County and Hernando County as sanctuaries.

Today’s illegal immigration enforcement endorsement is a tremendous achievement, as none of Florida’s cities can circumvent federal immigration laws like other cities elsewhere allow.

Otherwise, Florida is currently free from sanctuary jurisdictions, and Governor DeSantis clearly intends to keep it that way via preemptive measures such as the Federal Immigration Enforcement statute.

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Stephen Owsinski

Stephen Owsinski is an OpsLens Content Manager and Contributor. Owsinski is a retired law enforcement officer whose career included assignments in the Uniformed Patrol Division and Field Training Officer (FTO) unit. He is currently a researcher and writer. Follow Stephen on Twitter @uniformblue.

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