The Florida Senate is stonewalling legislation to ban Sanctuary Cities in Florida – those towns who choose not to enforce federal immigration law. I can’t help but think that this is why people hate government. We have more political gamesmanship here in the state capitol than common sense.
American citizens can’t get away with breaking the law. None of us can decide willy-nilly to not follow a law. We can’t choose to ignore a speeding sign, or heaven forbid a tax bill, or the force of government comes down on us like all of the fire and fury of hell. But, in Florida, we have cities – including West Palm Beach – that have been flagged by the Trump administration for refusing to show they are in compliance with federal immigration law. The U.S. Department of Justice sent a letter to West Palm Beach just last week threatening to subpoena them if they didn’t supply them with evidence of compliance with the Trump Administration.
So, we have created a bill, a Sanctuary City Ban, that enacts strict penalties at the state level on rogue Florida cities and they’re wayward officials that don’t want to comply with federal law. Why don’t they? You will love this. Because they just don’t agree with it. But, instead of running for Congress and changing federal policy, like you and I would have to do, they just decide to not enforce the laws they don’t like. The Constitution just doesn’t seem to matter to liberals.
We have to solve this problem. We have to be clear that mayors who want to dictate federal policy from the local level will face severe financial penalties – and even jail time – for violating federal immigration law. It’s time to stop the political games in Tallahassee. Our mayors can’t choose the federal laws they like and only follow those. Our state has an obligation to our citizens to not let them get away with it. We absolutely cannot be like the state of California. I urge the Senate to do what is best for the law-abiding people in Florida who work hard every day to make a better life for their families and stop stonewalling the Sanctuary City Ban legislation.
Jay Fant is a Florida state representative and candidate for Attorney General.