By Message Staff
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (LBM) – The chambers of Florida’s legislature have passed competing bills banning sanctuary cities in the state, with the House version imposing a $5,000-per- day fine for each day that a sanctuary-city policy is in place and including a rule to suspend or remove government employees or elected officials who defy the ban.
But both bills require local and state law enforcement to honor any federal agency’s request for detention of any person believed to be a “removable alien” under federal immigration law.
If the differences can be worked out, observers expect Gov. DeSantis to sign the reconciled bill into law, with Florida joining nine other states (Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas) to enact such a mandate.
A 2017 bill that would have prohibited sanctuary cities in Louisiana was left to die in committee, but the impact of that legislative failure is uncertain. The Center of Immigration Studies lists New Orleans as a “sanctuary city,” however the city signed a 2012 federal consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice Louisiana which governs its conduct with regard to reporting the immigration status of “victims or witnesses to crime” and the sheriff’s department is restricted from releasing release dates or addresses of inmates due to a class action lawsuit regarding detention of illegal immigrants.
The CIS also previously named Lafayette as a sanctuary city because of policies put into place by former Sheriff Mike Neustrom, according to a report in TheAdvertiser.com. But his replacement Mark Garber reversed these administrative rules and then demanded CIS remove Lafayette from the list.
The PEW Research Center reported that the majority of illegal immigrants live in California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York and Texas.