The Florida Senate last month passed a bill intended to eliminate "Sanctuary Cities" by requiring local law enforcement officials to cooperate with federal authorities in honoring ICE detainers against immigrants accused of even the most minor crimes, including ones for which they have not been convicted.

Except for one courageous Republican Senator who voted against the bill, the vote was strictly along party lines.

The Republicans continued to embrace the demagogic appeals to white voters which have been at the heart of GOP immigration policy for the past two decades, ever since IIRIRA was enacted in the dead of night without debate by a Republican-controlled Congress in September, 1996. The Democrats, however, voted to support immigration diversity and racial equality by upholding the rights of "Sanctuary City" law enforcement officials to oppose Donald Trump's white supremacist immigration agenda.

One of the main opponents of the bill, State Senator Annette Taddeo (Miami-Dade County) gave a moving speech recalling the discrimination that her own Italian immigrant ancestors had faced, along with hard-working Jewish and other minority immigrants coming to America through Ellis Island. She also said that she could not understand why some of her own relatives, descended from these same Italian immigrants, are now opposed to all immigration whatsoever.

The chair of Florida's Democratic Party, Terrie Rizzo, issued the following statement after the vote approving the bill:

"it is a Trumpian attack on the diversity and inclusiveness that has made Florida great...

This bill uses fear, hate and lies to divide our state - and will make Florida less safe. By demagogically attacking sanctuary cities -which don't even exist in Florida, Republicans are endangering the safety of both immigrant and non-immigrant families in our state."

For more information about the debate on the bill, see: (March 19)

Joe Gruters' sanctuary cities ban advances on party line vote

The entire debate is also available on video through

Roger Algase
Attorney at Law