Florida Enacts an Anti-Sanctuary Law

By Dan Cadman on June 18, 2019

During a signing ceremony on Friday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced that his state has joined Texas in promulgating a state anti-sanctuary law that:

  • Forbids the state and its political subdivisions from engaging in sanctuary policies or practices;
  • Requires state and local law enforcement and correctional agencies (including campus police) to honor immigration detainers and warrants when filed with those agencies;
  • Requires judges to amend sentences on filing of a detainer to facilitate a safe and efficient transfer to federal custody 12 days earlier than the end of a sentence would ordinarily occur; and
  • Authorizes the governor and state attorney general to initiate judicial enforcement actions against state agencies or political subdivisions that are found to be in violation of the anti-sanctuary law.

The bill that became law, S.B. 168, is a very thorough piece of legislation.

In signing S.B. 168 into law, DeSantis was making good on a pledge he made during the gubernatorial race that brought him to office.

He was also making clear his support for the many sheriffs throughout the state, including particularly Sheriff Bob Gualtieri of Pinellas County, who have actively pushed for programs and agreements that aid their offices in working cooperatively with federal immigration authorities to ensure that alien criminals are arrested, serve their time, and then are rendered to those authorities for removal from the United States (see here and here).

It's a refreshing change for state and local political and law enforcement leaders to recognize that the presence of alien criminals is detrimental to their communities, instead of undermining the rule of law and the security of their citizenry through misguided attempts to shield such aliens and place them back onto the streets to reoffend with even greater impunity. Floridians will be safer for it.