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Sanctuary Cities, One of Most Controversial Bills of 2019, Signed into Law.

June 14th, 2019 by Jake Stofan

Governor Ron DeSantis has signed into law a ban on Sanctuary Cities in the state. The legislation was one of the most controversial of the 2019 legislative session, but as Jake Stofan tells us you wouldn’t know it based on the large crowd that gathered to support the signing in Okaloosa County.

More than 300 people packed into to the Okaloosa County Commission room to watch the Governor sign one of the most controversial bills of the year into law.

“Sanctuary cities, they try to defy federal law” says the Governor.

The new law prohibits local governments in Florida from adopting sanctuary policies, and requires local law enforcement to hold illegal immigrants that have been arrested for 48 hours, to give Federal Immigration Officials an opportunity to retrieve them.

Senate Sponsor Joe Gruters (R) Sarasota says the legislation is about the rule of law.

“This is not about immigration. This is about making sure that we cooperate with with Federal Immigration Authorities.”

Only a handful of protesters showed up. Among them Aliza Sager of Fort Walton Beach.

She argues the new law will deter illegal immigrants who have been victims of crime themselves from going to police, for fear of deportation.

“If you have a problem, your immigration status should not prevent you from going to the police” says Sager.

The Governor and conservative lawmakers push back against opponents concerns, arguing undocumented immigrants have nothing to fear, as long as they haven’t committed a crime.

“These are people that have been in the community illegally, committing crimes, and then the Federal Government is asking for our assistance” explains the Governor.

House Sponsor Cord Byrd (R) Jacksonville, says the law allows the Governor to suspend locally elected officials who pass any policies that may hinders Federal immigration law.

“We’re not telling an elected official that they can’t speak about certain things,  but when they transition that speech and put it into action as a public official, that’s where they’re violating the law.”

The law officially takes affect July 1st.

After that, cities and counties with sanctuary policies already on the books have 90 days to repeal them or face fines between $1,000 and $5,000 a day.

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