Florida’s Crackdown on Sanctuary Cities Begins

Pending legislation would punish jurisdictions that harbor illegal aliens.

Florida appears poised to join a righteous law-and-order backlash against so-called sanctuary cities that shield and harbor illegal aliens in defiance of the nation’s immigration laws, after a pro-immigration enforcement bill passed the state’s House of Representatives.

The Sunshine State was home to 775,000 illegal aliens in 2016, according to Pew Research Center.

The state is also home to 15 municipalities that are sanctuary cities, according to Floridians for Immigration Enforcement, which prefers to label those jurisdictions “anarchy cities.”

“Not only do they disobey the law, but I question their loyalty to this country,” David Caulkett, the group’s vice president, said last month.

A bill that cracks down on sanctuary jurisdictions that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities easily passed the GOP-controlled Florida House and now has a good chance at being approved by the Republican-dominated Florida Senate.

Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, urged lawmakers to approve legislation taking aim at the state’s outposts of immigration lawlessness.

“I’m asking the Legislature to send me a bill during this legislative session to address sanctuary cities and counties in Florida,” DeSantis tweeted February 26. “I’m also calling on more local law enforcement to work with the federal government to ensure our immigration laws are enforced and justice is upheld.”

The House in Tallahassee approved HB 527, the proposed “Rule of Law Adherence Act,” on a vote of 69 to 47 on April 24. Its sponsors are Republican Reps. Cord Byrd and Erin Grall.

According to a legislative summary, the measure, which would take effect July 1 if given final approval, would prohibit and require the repeal of sanctuary policies, as well as require state and local governmental agencies to use their best efforts to support enforcement of federal immigration law, including handing over illegal aliens to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Non-compliance by government officials would be punished. HB 527 would also provide causes of action for personal injury or wrongful death attributed to sanctuary policies. This means victims could sue local governments if illegal aliens are released from custody and injure or kill people.

HB 527 now moves to the Senate where a similar bill, SB 168, is pending. SB 168 is sponsored by Republican Sen. Joe Gruters.

Naturally, the left-wingers at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) are spreading horror propaganda in an effort to prevent Florida from taking action.

The ACLU is warning “immigrants” against visiting Florida, even though legal immigrants have nothing to worry about.

An “alert was issued to caution both Florida travelers and residents, especially Black, brown & Latinx communities, of the increased likelihood of racial and ethnic profiling, unjust detention, and possible deportation if these anti-immigrant bills pass.”

It’s tedious stuff.

Although President Trump has enjoyed some success in immigration policy –the ban on travel from terrorism-plagued countries included in Presidential Proclamation 9645 was upheld by the Supreme Court in June 2018— his crackdown on sanctuary cities has been frustrated by black-robed politicians over and over again.

On April 18, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld the better part of three so-called sanctuary laws interfering with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) efforts to uphold federal immigration laws in the state of California. According to conservative estimates, the Golden State is home to more than 2 million illegal aliens who make up close to 6 percent of its residents.

The Trump administration, which seems certain to appeal the loss to the Supreme Court, has repeatedly been obstructed by the judicial branch which has arrogated to itself micro-management of the nation’s immigration policies.

An Obama-appointed judge in San Francisco, U.S. District Judge William H. Orrick III, issued a permanent nationwide injunction against President Trump’s Executive Order 13768, which would have withheld federal funding from sanctuary jurisdictions that refuse to cooperate with ICE. That injunction remains in force.

Congressional Republicans have serially betrayed conservatives and handed Democrats victories over President Trump by refusing to cut off funding for sanctuary cities.

The sanctuary movement gave illegal aliens permission to rob, rape, and murder Americans by, among other things, stigmatizing immigration enforcement. Some left-wingers call sanctuary jurisdictions “civil liberties safe zones” to blur the distinction between citizens and non-citizens by implying illegal aliens somehow possess a civil right to be present in the U.S. Leftists also like to refer to all migrants, including illegal aliens, simply as “immigrants” in order to further muddy the waters. This helps the Left portray conservatives, who are generally not anti-immigrant –they’re anti-illegal immigration— as xenophobic bigots.

Floridian David Caulkett’s suggestion that sanctuary cities be called anarchy cities isn’t bad.

Those cities could also be called traitor cities because they are in open rebellion against the United States just as much as the Confederate Army was when it opened fire on Fort Sumter.

But thanks to some courageous state lawmakers, Florida may be on the verge of having fewer of those lawless jurisdictions that flout America’s immigration laws.