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sanctuary cities

News Service of Florida

After successfully pushing through a controversial law that bans so-called sanctuary cities, the chairman of the Republican Party of Florida is planning a statewide “listening” tour on immigration. 

Governor Ron DeSantis today signed off on a bill banning so-called “sanctuary cities” in Florida.  The effort sparked controversy during this legislative session, but its backers say it’s all about following the rule of law.

President Donald Trump on Sunday denied reports that hundreds of migrants would be flown from the Mexican border to Florida and other areas in the U.S. interior to lessen the workload at crowded Border Patrol facilities.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan, also on Sunday, acknowledged that federal officials did initially alert local leaders of the possibility that migrants would be flown to two South Florida counties. But Trump appeared to blame the media for "false reporting."

Lawmakers Pass ‘Sanctuary Cities’ Ban

May 3, 2019
Florida Capitol
Michael Rivera

Legislation that would give Florida one of the strictest laws in the nation against so-called sanctuary cities is headed to Gov. Ron DeSantis, giving him a chance to fulfill a key campaign promise. 

A controversial bill that bans local governments from adopting or practicing sanctuary city policies is moving forward, but it comes with some new amendments.

In a move that’s ignited fierce debate, Florida lawmakers appear set to approve controversial legislation that aims to ban so-called "sanctuary cities" in the state. Bills in the House and Senate both passed their final committees last week and are making their way to discussion. 

The legislation would require local police to honor requests from federal immigration authorities to detain people who are thought to be in the United States illegally. The House version would fine local governments that don’t cooperate with federal requests.

Florida Lawmakers Debate Sanctuary Bills

Apr 21, 2019

A pair of bills are inching their way closer to the Florida House and Senate Chambers. Senate Bill 168 and House Bill 527 would prohibit local governments from sanctuary policies.

Florida Bill To Ban Sanctuary Policies Draws Raucous Debate

Apr 18, 2019
State Capitol
Wikimedia Commons

A proposed ban on sanctuary policies evoked talk of fear and bigotry, shouts of "Shame on you!" and the scolding of a Democratic senator who admonished a woman Wednesday for disparaging Miami, the Florida city with the largest Hispanic population. 

A controversial set of bills to ban so-called “sanctuary cities” in Florida appear to be on a fast-track to passage in Tallahassee. And that could be thanks in part to a secret deal made by lawmakers from both parties, according to Mike Fernandez, a billionaire healthcare magnate and prominent political booster in Miami.

Florida Senate Democrats voted to reaffirm their opposition to a ban on sanctuary cities moving through the legislature. 

Florida’s legislative session has been underway for almost a month and there have already been some big changes.

We talk with reporters about key issues lawmakers are considering and how their actions could affect our lives on this week’s Florida Matters.


Gov. Ron DeSantis
Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons

Local law enforcement in five parts of Florida have reached agreements to work with federal agents by detaining suspected criminals longer if they are in the country illegally.

In a production filled with political theater, a Democratic candidate for governor and a legislative leader who’s toying with a run for the same office took the stage Tuesday night in a debate over immigration and “sanctuary cities.”

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and House Speaker Richard Corcoran, a Republican who hasn’t announced whether he’s in the gubernatorial race, came out slugging during the 45-minute debate, aired live on both men’s Facebook pages.

Andy Lalino / WUSF Public Media

This week on Florida Matters we visit the office of St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman to talk about his second term in office, which began about a month ago.


The Florida Senate stalled a plan to ban sanctuary cities this week. But the debate around immigration enforcement is alive and well in the statehouse.

Manuel Balce Ceneta, AP

Several prominent mayors from around the country boycotted a meeting with President Donald Trump Wednesday because of a Justice Department crackdown on what's commonly referred to as "sanctuary cities." But many went.

One of those was Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn. He said the benefits outweighed any controversy.

The Florida House has overwhelmingly approved a ban against sanctuary policies. President Trump’s disparaging comments about Haiti, El Salvador and African countries fueled an already contentious debate on the bill. Trump reportedly referred to the areas as "s***hole countries."

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.

Wikimedia Commons

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.