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sanctuary cities

Roberto Roldan/WUSF

The mayors of Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater laid out their priorities for 2018 at the State of the Bay discussion on Friday.

If one Florida lawmaker gets his way, legislators will once again be debating sanctuary cities. Republican Representative Larry Metz of Groveland is filing legislation he hopes will ensure local law enforcement are cooperating with federal immigration authorities.

Legislation banning sanctuary city policies is moving through Florida House committees. The proposal requires cities fully cooperate with federal immigration officers or face penalties.

On Wednesday, President Trump signed an executive order promising to withhold federal money from what it calls sanctuary jurisdictions. What's not clear is which cities and counties qualify for this punishment, and whether this kind of federal pressure is even legal.

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A few dozen activists delivered a letter to Tampa City Hall asking Mayor Bob Buckhorn to designate Tampa a "sanctuary city," a jurisdiction where local law enforcement doesn't cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

Communities that provide sanctuary to undocumented immigrants are coming under fire in the Florida legislature.