The state of Florida is on the verge of enacting one of the toughest laws against sanctuary cities in the entire nation.
The bill, called the Rule of Law Adherence Act, just overwhelmingly passed the House by a vote of 67-49:
WASHINGTON POST – The Florida House of Representatives voted Wednesday to require local officials to comply with federal immigration authorities, a move that brings the Republican-controlled state government to the cusp of enacting one of the nation’s most stringent laws against “sanctuary cities.”
The House legislation, which passed in a 69 to 47 vote, would bar local governments from ignoring Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) requests — known as detainers — for local jails to hold suspected undocumented immigrants until federal authorities take them into custody. It also mandates that local agencies use their “best efforts to support federal immigration law” and threatens a fine of up to $5,000 per day for entities that violate the law.
A Florida Senate committee approved similar legislation last week. Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), who made the issue a central issue in his campaign last year, has been urging senators to act on the bill before the state’s legislative session ends next week.
To give you a point of reference, Republicans control the Florida House by a margin of 71-46 seats, with 3 vacant seats. So basically every Democrat voted against this bill.
The Senate, where the bill heads next, is controlled by Republicans by a much thinner margin: 23-17.
The bill has become a top priority for Florida Republicans in recent weeks, as they have been eager to support DeSantis and President Trump, who has threatened to release migrants into sanctuary cities that do not comply with ICE detainer requests. The Trump administration also has vowed to withhold law enforcement grants from localities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.
“This bill is about public safety and making sure we remove the criminal element of illegals that are here,” said state Sen. Joe Gruters, sponsor of the Senate legislation and chairman of the Florida Republican Party. “The president has a laser focus on the failures of Washington in terms of immigration policy, and I think that has made this effort easier.”
A half-dozen more states are considering similar legislation this year.
WAPO says that while the definition of sanctuary cities differs, analysts say that Florida really doesn’t have any.
But a quick search of the web will tell you that there are at the very least problem areas in the state.
Either way, for safety reasons alone Florida needs to pass this law to keep cities and counties from becoming sanctuary areas.