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SPLC Action Fund: Unconstitutional immigration enforcement bill dangerous

Will separate families and hurt most vulnerable citizens

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill 168, an immigration enforcement bill that bans sanctuary policies, including so called “sanctuary cities.”

The following is a statement by Scott McCoy, senior policy counsel for the SPLC Action Fund:

“SB 168 does nothing to address legitimate safety concerns and does nothing to make law enforcement more effective in our communities. This law forces local law enforcement agencies to entangle themselves in the federal government’s broken deportation family separation system, despite constitutional safeguards ensuring local governments can choose otherwise.

“Laws like this are proven to negatively impact people in immigrant communities, who will be less likely to report crime to the police or cooperate with investigations, for fear of immigration enforcement against themselves or their neighbors. It undermines public safety making our towns and cities less safe by requiring local law enforcement to spend less of their time and resources fighting crime in local communities and more on doing the work of federal immigration authorities.

“The legislation signed by Governor DeSantis today is unconstitutional and Republican lawmakers knew this when they fast-tracked the bill to appease anti-immigrant voters and use racial grievance to drive a wedge between Floridians.  This law forces local and state police to detain people for federal immigration authorities without probable cause. It violates the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on unreasonable seizure, will lead to the violation of constitutional rights and subject law enforcement to costly litigation. We are all safer when we uphold the rule of law and everyone is free from illegally being held in jail.”

For more information on the dangers of this new law, please see this Op-Ed from Mary Bauer, Deputy Legal Director for the SPLC Action Fund.