by Jenn Carter
Despite the hysterical opposition of everyone from George Soros funded “La Raza” groups to former open borders governor Jeb Bush, Florida is about to yank out the welcome mat for illegal aliens across the Sunshine State.
The Florida Legislature passed a bill on Thursday banning sanctuary policies that protect illegal aliens and requiring law enforcement officials to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.
The bill passed the House by wide 68-45 margin with Democrats opposed, shortly after it cleared the Senate by a 22-18 mostly party-line vote, as the Sarasota Herald-Tribunereported.
Gov. Ron DeSantis has strongly supported the measure and will sign it into law.
“We are a stronger state when we protect our residents, foster safe communities and respect the work of law enforcement at every level,” DeSantis, a Republican, said in a statement.
The legislation would require local officials to honor U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers for illegal aliens who are arrested or convicted of a crime, exempting crime victims and witnesses.
It would ban local governments from enacting sanctuary policies to protect those aliens from deportation and require them to notify ICE when an inmate subject to a detainer is released.
According to OJJPAC, 16 Florida counties and 9 additional cities have enacted sanctuary policies to protect illegal aliens. This law would impact municipalities comprised of over 11 million people, more than half of all citizens in America’s 3rd most populous state.
Republicans said it would ensure respect for federal immigration laws by preventing local and state officials from refusing to comply. Under the bill, the governor is empowered to suspend officials who defy immigration laws and they could be sued by the attorney general to force compliance.
Rep. Elizabeth Fetterhoff, R-DeLand, told the Herald-Tribune: “This bill isn’t anti-immigrant and it’s dangerously disingenuous to suggest otherwise.”
“We are a nation of immigrants, proudly so,” Fetterhoff said. “But we are also a nation of laws.”
The bill was one of the most hotly-contested of this legislative session, with several versions bouncing between the House and Senate over the past two months. One provision that was stripped out would have subjected officials who defy immigration laws to steep fines. Another section that was dropped would have exempted the Department of Children and Families from its requirements, which could have considerably weakened the bill.
It sparked protests around the state and led the American Civil Liberties Union to warn immigrants against traveling to Florida. And former governor Jeb Bush dismissed the need for such a law in an interview last week:
This is one of those new political issues where it’s designed to make a point rather than to solve a problem. I’m not sure we have this problem.
The thousnds of Florida citizens victimized by illegal alien criminals and gangs would strongly dispute the open-border former governor’s complaint.
Soros-backed La Raza groups Casa and MALDEF are planning lawsuits seeking to block it.
However with the replacement in 2017 of the only Republican-appointed immigration dove on the Supreme Court, Anthony Kennedy, with pro-enforcement Justice Brett Kavanaugh, opponents face a likely eventual defeat in the nation’s highest court.