By Jon Dougherty
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) was, as a member of Congress, a supporter of POTUS Donald Trump’s efforts to secure the U.S. border and enforce all federal immigration laws.
He was also an opponent of so-called “sanctuary cities” — jurisdictions that forbid their local police from assisting federal immigration enforcement efforts, thereby allowing people who are in our country illegally to live relatively free from deportation and other enforcement actions.
As such, DeSantis is supporting multiple pieces of legislation that would ban sanctuary cities in the Sunshine State, which is home to the country’s third-largest population of illegal immigrants.
As reported by Fox News, a pair of bills — SB 168 and HR 527 — have advanced to the floor of the state House of Representatives and Senate. They are expected to receive a vote in each chamber by next month.
Specifically, the laws would prohibit state, city, and county “law enforcement agencies from having policies that impede communication or information sharing with ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] and gives them a procedure to follow when someone who was arrested cannot provide proof of citizenship or legal residency or is subject to an immigration detainer,” the Miami Herald added.
ICE is the agency that enforces federal immigration laws within the country’s interior. Many in the far-Left Democratic Party have called for abolishing the agency, including some 2020 presidential contenders.
Florida is home to roughly 775,000 illegal immigrants, according to Fox News, which is the third largest illegal immigrant population in the U.S.
As the Miami Herald noted, Florida doesn’t currently have any sanctuary cities, but DeSantis and majority Republicans in the Legislature want to proactively pass a law to prevent them in the future.
“Legislation is typically an effort to address an existing problem or it’s filed in anticipation of a potential problem down the road,” Florida Sen. Tom Lee (R) told the Miami Herald. “In this case having a definition might be helpful, whether we have one today or not by this definition, sometimes it simplifies.”
If Florida’s effort is successful the state will join nine others that have already enacted similar bans: Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Iowa, North Carolina, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee, and Texas.
The Arkansas state Senate also passed legislation last week banning sanctuary cities.
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