Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis just signed into law the toughest sanctuary cities bill ban in the nation, keeping a campaign promise despite apoplectic, snarky media coverage.
DeSantis today signed Senate Bill 168 requiring Florida law enforcement officials and governmental entities to honor federal “immigration detainer” requests that ask a law enforcement agency to detain someone on probable cause that they can be removed from the country under federal immigration laws. That is, they are here illegally and will be sent home. Because law enforcement is holding them, that means they either have or are accused of committing crimes beyond illegal entry into the U.S.
In sanctuary cities around the nation, law officers cannot hold them for Immigration officials, but must release them back into the population.
The new law prohibits local officials from implementing any sort of “sanctuary” policies, which problematically had previously not been defined in state law, and gives the governor the authority to remove officials from office if they do not comply with the law.
That is a powerful strong law.
Despite the media talking about how the law is “controversial” — mostly in newsrooms and Democratic headquarters — DeSantis and team created a huge, public signing ceremony, live-streamed it on Facebook and had a lot of those involved present. U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, who represents Okaloosa County, where the bill-signing took place, and bill sponsor state Sen. Joe Gruters, of Sarasota, also the chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, joined at the event.
Apparently these guys don’t feel it is too “controversial.”
DeSantis told a packed Okaloosa County Commission Chambers that the bill “is about the rule of law” and emphasized the issue of “public safety.”
“I said we were going to do certain things, and I’m happy to report after having just one legislative session under our belt we’re delivering on the promises we made to the people of Florida,” he said.
Sanctuary cities are popular in liberal states and in some cities in red states. But they are also havens for criminals who obviously flock to those areas where they will be protected from the feds.
DeSantis called them “law-free zones” where people who are here illegally can commit crimes, and then “just walk out the door and continue to do it.”
The media is running their normal PR campaign for Democrats. The Tampa Bay Times’ snarky headline is: “Gov. DeSantis signs ‘sanctuary cities’ ban into law. There aren’t any in Florida.”
Well yes, because there had not been a definition before and this is designed to make sure there won’t be any in the future.
Here’s the lead right below it.
“Fulfilling a key, controversial campaign promise popular with his party’s base, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill Friday that will ban so-called “sanctuary cities” in Florida, though the policy is expected to draw a legal skirmish over its constitutionality as it goes into effect next month.”
See, it’s just about playing to the base. But is it? The Hill reported:
“A survey from Harvard–Harris Poll provided exclusively to The Hill found that 80 percent of voters say local authorities should have to comply with the law by reporting to federal agents the illegal immigrants they come into contact with.”
So maybe not all that controversial among Americans after all. Mostly journalists.
Considering the chaotic and tragic crisis at the southern border that President Trump and some Republicans have been trying to fix — and being blocked at every turn by activist judges and Democrats in Congress — this issue will remain a winner for Republicans in 2020.
Rod Thomson is an author, past Salem radio host, ABC TV commentator, former journalist and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act.