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Thread: FL - Bill would ban illegal-immigration ‘sanctuaries’

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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006

    FL - Bill would ban illegal-immigration ‘sanctuaries’

    Posted Mar 13, 2017 at 10:41 PM
    Updated Mar 13, 2017 at 10:41 PM
    Zac Anderson

    TALLAHASSEE — Shortly after President Donald Trump was elected, New College of Florida students began urging school officials not to cooperate with immigration authorities and declare the college a "sanctuary campus."

    Trump's election on a hard-line immigration platform helped spur more than 800 people to sign the sanctuary campus petition at the Sarasota college. No formal sanctuary practices ever were adopted at New College, but the political tug of war over such policies continues nationwide.

    Trump signed an executive order in January designed to punish local governments with sanctuary policies by withholding federal funds. Some Republican leaders in the Florida Legislature also want to crack down on government entities that adopt sanctuary policies.

    Under a bill that advanced in the Florida House Monday, such policies would be outlawed in Florida and any state or local government entity that persisted would be fined up to $5,000 a day and become ineligible for state grant funding. Government employees who failed to report violations of the law prohibiting sanctuary policies could be terminated under the legislation, which was co-sponsored by all four Republicans who represent Sarasota or Manatee counties in the House.

    "It's about adhering to the rule of law," said bill sponsor Rep. Larry Metz, R-Yalaha.

    The bill passed the House Civil Justice & Claims Subcommittee on a party line vote. Democrats on the panel and about two dozen immigrant rights supporters in the audience opposed the bill.

    Among other things, the bill would require local law enforcement agencies to comply with requests from the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to detain individuals already in custody – and who are suspected by ICE of being in the country illegally - after their release date.

    The refusal by some cities and counties to cooperate with the ICE detainers became a big issue in the last election.

    Trump often talked about cracking down on "sanctuary cities." He frequently invoked the case of Kathryn Steinle, who was killed on a San Francisco pier in 2015. The suspect in her shooting had been deported five times but was released from jail shortly before the attack. San Francisco has a policy limiting local law enforcement from cooperating with immigration authorities.

    Metz invoked Steinle Monday. "We're trying to prevent that from happening in Florida," he said.

    The ICE detainers have been criticized by groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union, which argues they deny people due process and raise constitutional questions. Earlier this month a federal judge ruled Miami-Dade County violated the constitution in holding a Haitian immigrant in custody solely so federal officials could investigate the man's immigration status.

    An analysis of the Metz's bill by House staff says it "appears" that six Florida counties – Hernando, Pasco, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Palm Beach and Broward - have policies limiting cooperation with ICE. It notes that the policies were initiated by the sheriffs in each county, and appear to have been sparked by a bulletin put out by the Florida Sheriff's Association that cited recent federal court decisions and warned of legal liabilities for law enforcement agencies that detain someone at ICE's request without probable cause.

    "We have no sanctuary cities, we have no sanctuary counties in the state of Florida," said Francesca Menes, the director of policy and advocacy for the Florida Immigrant Coalition. "What we have are detainer policies and most of them were passed by sheriffs."

    Menes added that: "This bill ultimately can not be enforced without legalizing racial profiling because how do you know that I'm undocumented?"

    Democratic state Rep. Sean Shaw also argued that "there is a racial profiling component to this conversation" in voting against the bill.

    The sanctuary city bill passed the House last year but did not clear the Senate, where it could have trouble again this year. The Senate version of the bill – which is co-sponsored by Sarasota GOP Sen. Greg Steube - has been referred to four committees, giving it a long road to passage. It has not been heard in any of the committees yet and could face opposition from Republicans in heavily Hispanic South Florida, where there is widespread opposition to Trump's immigration crackdown.

    The legislation applies to any state or local government entities, including universities and school districts. It prohibits them from adopting a policy that would prevent the sharing of information with federal immigration officials.

    New College students were asking for just such a policy. But student information already is protected by federal law.

    "The students and administration agreed jointly that New College would not declare itself a sanctuary campus, because the College's statement of support for student privacy rights was sufficient," said college spokesman David Gulliver.
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  2. #2
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    Mar 2006
    I agree something is needed and I'm not against withholding monies or fining a city, at this point.

    The problem there is the innocent people in the city will be the ones that are hurt by this.

    When an official does something that is wrong, that official should be the one to pay the price - not the citizens.

    I don't think new laws are necessary.

    If the state simply began enforcing the laws already on the books - it would go a long way to greasing the skids to self deportation.
    Judy likes this.

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