Florida House Passes Bill Cracking Down on Sanctuary Cities

Immigrants walk handcuffed after illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border and being caught by the U.S. Border Patrol on December 7, 2015 near Rio Grande City, Texas. Border Patrol agents continue to capture hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants, even as the total numbers of those crossing has gone down. (Photo …
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The Florida House has passed a ban on so-called sanctuary cities, requiring that all localities comply with federal immigration authorities.

In an 80-38 vote, the House passed a bill this week that will levy fines and even remove officials for failing to hold illegal immigrants for immigration enforcement purposes, according to the Miami Herald.

“Without both border security and internal enforcement, the system breaks down, and to fix it, we have to do our part in the state of Florida,” the bill’s sponsor Rep. Larry Metz, R-Yalaha, said according to the paper.

Metz’s bill, the Miami Herald reports, also would allow the families of people killed by illegal immigrants to sue their local governments.

The crackdown on sanctuary cities follows a national outcry over the murder of Kathryn Steinle in the sanctuary city of San Francisco. The alleged shooter was a multiple-deportee, illegal immigrant with a lengthy criminal record who had been released from jail due to the city’s sanctuary policy of not honoring immigration detainers.

The Steinle case has inspired legislation at both the national and local levels.

According to the Associated Press, Metz said he introduced the sanctuary city bill specifically because of Steinle’s murder.

“It was a sort of a very tragic reminder of what can happen when we have sanctuary policies and we certainly don’t want that to happen anywhere,” Metz said according to the AP.

The legislation must still pass in the Florida Senate and be signed by Gov. Rick Scott. The AP reported that there are doubts about whether the bill will get a vote before the end of the session next month.


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