South Miami Fights Florida Law Forbidding Sanctuaries

By Dan Cadman on July 19, 2019

In a June 18 blog, I wrote of the Florida legislature passing, and the governor signing into law, an anti-sanctuary measure that is similar in several respects to the one in place in Texas.

Just as happened in Texas, the Florida law is now going to face a legal test. The City of South Miami, in coordination with a host of open borders and migrant advocacy groups, has now filed suit in federal district court alleging that the measure was discriminatory because its drafting was aided by a "hate group", and that it will result in racial profiling. The complaint can be seen here.

The "hate group" in question here is the Federation of Americans for Immigration Reform (FAIR), and almost certainly that vile and unfounded label emanated from the same place that has labeled our organization a "hate group": the thoroughly discredited Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), about which I and my colleagues have spoken on any number of occasions (e.g., here, here and here).

It is a wonder that the SPLC ever garnered either the right or the credibility in anyone's mind—let alone that of various officials and government entities—to pin such a label on others since it was evident from the start that it was being done to silence dissent from the SPLC's world view. If this isn't the tactic of authoritarians and demagogues, I don't know what is.

As to FAIR: I don't have any idea whether they suggested language or in any way assisted in critiquing legislative language drafted by state legislators or their staff, but if they did, so what? In the end it is the two chambers of the Florida legislative body that decide on whether or not the bill meets their intent and meets legal muster before passing it to the governor for signature and enactment.

I'd also bet good money that the commission members of the City of South Miami relied on the city's open borders, pro-sanctuary lawsuit coalition partners in devising and enacting its 2017 Resolution 028-17-14829 "that limits SMPD's [South Miami Police Department's] entanglement with federal immigration enforcement", to use the words contained in the City's own federal complaint. Apparently that kind of reliance on subject matter experts is only supposed to go in one direction.

The various legal efforts to overturn the Texas anti-sanctuary law failed; there is no reason to think that they will prevail here since there is no empirical evidence that a state statute requiring cooperation with federal immigration officials will result in "racial profiling" since it focuses primarily on individuals who have already been taken into custody by state and local police and sheriff's deputies for violation of Florida's criminal laws.