Declaring “we are a nation of rules,” Florida Republican lawmakers have officially revived their efforts to go after so-called “sanctuary” cities and counties in Florida — and their elected officials — that don’t fully cooperate with federal enforcement of immigration law.
The bills (SB 786 / HB 697) — dubbed the “Rule of Law Adherence Act” — impose an array of restrictions to ban “sanctuary policies” in Florida and create fines and penalties for state agencies, local governments or law enforcement agencies that have one. Sen. Aaron Bean, Beach, and Rep. Larry , R-Yalaha, unveiled their legislation Wednesday in Tallahassee.
“The one thing that everybody should know in our country is: We can’t choose which laws we’ll obey or which laws we don’t obey,” said Bean, who told the Herald/Times last week the legislation would be coming.
The bills would formally define a “sanctuary policy” as any “law, policy, practice, procedure, or custom adopted or permitted” by a state, local or law enforcement agency “which contravenes or which knowingly prohibits or impedes a law enforcement agency from communicating or cooperating with a federal immigration agency with respect to federal immigration enforcement.”
It’s not clear when — or even, if — the legislation might be considered, but the proposal is likely to draw backlash from Democrats, as well as immigrant advocates and local governments.
More here on what exactly Bean and Metz are proposing this year.
Photo credit: Jeremy Wallace / Herald/Times Tallahassee bureau