Florida’s legislative session is in full swing and there are several anti-immigrant Trump style bills that are making their way through committees.
Last week HB 697, a bill banning sanctuary programs and requiring local law enforcement to enforce unconstitutional federal immigration detainers, passed in its second committee. A few days ago, HB 83, a bill enhancing criminal penalties based solely on an immigrant’s undocumented status, also passed in its second committee. The Senate companions to these bills (SB 120, Enhancing Criminal Penalties; and SB 798, Banning Sanctuary Cities) will be heard in their respective Senate committees soon.
Email your state senator and ask them to oppose SB 120.
Email your state senator and ask them to oppose SB 786.
If SB 120, and its companion in the House, HB 83, were to be enacted, an undocumented immigrant that commits a third degree penalty with a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison will be charged with a second degree felony, punishable with a maximum sentence of 15 years. That’s an additional 10 years in prison just for being an undocumented immigrant. Similarly, an undocumented immigrant that commits a second degree felony, punishable by 15 years maximum, will be charged as a first degree felony, punishable by a maximum of 30 years. Thus, an additional 15 years of prison solely based on being undocumented.
If SB 786, and its companion in the House, HB 697, were to be enacted, every law enforcement agency in the state would be required to comply with federal immigration enforcement requests known as “ICE detainers.” Courts across the country have found that enforcing these detainers, which are issued without a court order and result in people being detained without probable cause, violate the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Numerous Florida counties already have policies in place limiting or banning the enforcement of these unlawful requests. Under this bill, these county sanctuary policies would be repealed and counties that refused to comply would be subject to harsh sanctions and monetary fines.
Legislators are most influenced by the people in their own district, as they know that if they upset their constituents, they won’t be reelected. That’s why it’s so important that you tell them you oppose these bills.
Our best chance of defeating these hateful bills is in the Senate. We need you to contact your Senator and tell them to vote NO on these cruel anti-immigrant bills today.