Debate in Legislature as Florida Senate passes “sanctuary city” ban

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Families Belong Together rally in Tampa migrants immigrants

Families Belong Together rally in Tampa supporting migrant families. By Yvonne Gougelet / WMNF News (2018 June 30).

On Friday the Florida Senate passed a bill that would force local governments and police departments to cooperate with federal authorities who enforce laws on immigration.

The bill that would ban what are known as “sanctuary city” policies passed the State Senate on a 22-18 vote, mostly along party lines. A day earlier the Florida House passed a similar bill. According to the AP, “Several differences need to be worked before the legislation can go to Republican Governor Ron DeSantis. Among the differences are penalties for violating the policy. The House includes fines for officials who adopt sanctuary policies, and the Senate does not. DeSantis supports a sanctuary policy ban.”

Senator Anitere Flores of Miami was the only Senate Republican to vote against the bill.

We heard extended excerpts from Friday’s debate by Senators for and against the bill.

Republican Senator Tom Lee represents parts of Hillsborough County and supports the ban.

Senator Annette Taddeo, a Democrat from Miami-Dade County, spoke against the bill after talking about her Italian and Jewish heritage.

Republican Senator Joe Gruters represents Sarasota and part of Charlotte County and sponsored the bill.

According to the Miami Herald, ‘Under this bill, local law enforcement would be required to honor federal law enforcement’s request for an “immigration detainer,” meaning a request that another law enforcement agency detain a person based on probable cause to believe that the person is a “removable alien” under federal immigration law. The bill would essentially make the “request” a requirement.’

The bill was opposed by civil liberties groups, including the ACLU, which issued a warning for travelers and non-citizens to keep away from the state. The ACLU also expressed concerns that federal immigration authorities had ordered American citizens to be detained.

Listen to the show here.

Watch the Senate debate via The Florida Channel here. Thank you to TFC for the audio.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.