Sunday, November 17, 2019

Judge rules that all Florida cops and elected officials must comply with ICE

A federal judge has temporarily blocked a portion of a controversial Florida law that called on local police to cross state lines to assist federal immigration officials but left in place a provision where the officers would have to hold undocumented immigrants until the feds pick them up.

In an order issued on yesterday — one day before enforcement of the new law is slated to take effect — Miami U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom ruled that local police cannot transport undocumented immigrants across state lines at the request of the feds, saying it is strictly the job of the federal government. However, her ruling maintained that the Florida law — SB 168 — will continue to forbid sanctuary cities and that local police departments would still be required to hold arrested people in jail for an extra two days until ICE picks them up.

She cited laws passed by Congress as opening the door for that kind of local and federal cooperation, shooting down a core argument of the lawsuit, filed by immigration advocates and the city of South Miami. “Congress gave a clear indication that it sought to facilitate, not preempt, the type of cooperation that SB 168 mandates,” Bloom wrote in the order.

Under the law, local police departments will be required to hold undocumented immigrants who have been detained for an additional 48 hours, until ICE arrives and transports them to a federal detention center. People who have fully served their local sentence or posted bond will also be detained for the extra two days.

The City of South Miami and several immigrant advocacy groups filed the case against Gov. Ron DeSantis and Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody in June, hoping to stop the controversial legislation. DeSantis signed the bill in June, the law went into effect July 1 and it will be enforced by police as of today.

The law allows the governor or attorney general to take action on elected officials who don’t comply with the law, including removing them from office.

MIAMI HERALD