Florida considers ban on 'sanctuary cities'

Bill would ban local governments from practicing so-called sanctuary policies

Florida Legislature.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A bill that would ban local governments from practicing so-called sanctuary policies began moving in the Florida Senate over the protest of immigrant advocacy groups.

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the bill Tuesday on a 4-2 vote, with only Republicans in favor and only Democrats opposed.

The bill would require local law enforcement agencies to cooperate with federal agencies if they arrest someone with an immigration detainer. Cities and counties wouldn't be able to enact policy preventing law enforcement from notifying federal officials when someone subject to deportation is in their custody.

Republican Sen. Joe Gruters said his bill was a matter of public safety and enforcing the law.

A few dozen people opposed to the bill attended the meeting and later gathered in the Capitol courtyard and chanted in English and Spanish, "The people united will never be divided."

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