Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran made it clear this week what one of his priorities is during this year’s legislative session which starts Tuesday — sanctuary cties.
“We must not allow Florida to follow California,” Corcoran said in a tweet sent out late Tuesday afternoon. “On week one of session we’re going to pass a bill to keep our Florida communities safe from dangerous sanctuary city policies.”
It was a message perhaps intended for Corcoran’s expected gubernatorial bid that would begin after the session is over.
Florida currently has no community on the sanctuary city list. The only Florida city on the list was Miami-Dade, but that changed this summer after the U.S. Department of Justice warned sanctuary cities could lose millions of dollars in federal grant money if they continued to refuse to cooperate with federal immigration officials.
Miami-Dade began cooperating with immigration officials shortly after the election of President Trump.
In a story published Wednesday by the Miami Herald, it was reported that Miami-Dade had turned over on average one immigration detainee per day last year.
Mayor Carlos Gimenez ordered county jails to comply with the federal detention requests days after Trump took office on Jan. 20 and promised to withhold federal funds from local governments providing “sanctuary” to undocumented immigrants. Miami-Dade had previously declined the requests under a county policy enacted four years earlier.
The issue of sanctuary cities has been a subject for debate by the candidates who are already in the contest. State Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, the frontrunner in the race for the Republican nomination, has used the issue to attack Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who is seeking the Democratic nomination. Putnam accused Gillum of wanting to expand policies protecting illegal immigrants from being deported.
Bringing it up in this year’s session allows Corcoran to make it an issue before joining the race.