Florida Senate committee takes on sanctuary cities

Florida Senate committee takes on sanctuary cities
Florida Senate committee takes on sanctuary cities
Posted at 2:09 PM, Feb 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-11 14:09:00-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (The News Service of Florida)A renewed effort by Florida Republicans to ban so-called sanctuary cities in the state begins late Monday in the state legislature. 

The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to take up what is called the “Rule of Law Adherence Act”, which would require local governments to comply with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention requests and to repeal sanctuary policies.  

Under the proposed bill, police would be required to honor all requests made by ICE to hold undocumented immigrants, even though judges have repeatedly ruled such holds violate a person’s constitutional rights. 

In its current form, the bill would also allow the governor to remove an elected official from office if they cast a vote in favor of a “sanctuary city” policy. State Senator Joe Gruters, who doubles as chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, is sponsoring the proposal. 

“It’s common sense that these local governments should work with the federal government, and ICE on immigration; that we would follow the laws that are on the books at the federal level," said Gruters. 

Critics of the bill argue efforts to outlaw "sanctuary cities" have more to do with partisanship than with thwarting an existing problem. 

Currently, there are no counties or cities in Florida that act as "sanctuaries" for undocumented immigrants. 

If approved during Monday’s Senate hearing, the legislation has two more committee stops in the Senate and three in the House of Representative before both chambers could take a final vote on the measure. 

The sanctuary city ban received the support of Governor Ron DeSantis during his inaugural address last month.