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ACLU of Florida Media Office, media@aclufl.org, (786) 363-2737

January 12, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida House of Representatives today voted to pass HB 9, which would require local and state entities and colleges and universities, to divert resources to enforcing federal immigration law, despite constitutional protections.

ACLU of Florida legislative counsel Kara Gross responded to today’s vote, stating:

“HB 9 represents a grave threat to public safety and the civil rights of all Floridians. Our local law enforcement agencies’ core responsibility is to protect and serve their communities, not assume the burden of enforcing federal immigration law. By forcing local police to become de facto immigration agents, this bill will deter immigrant victims and witnesses from cooperating with police out of fear of deportation and will inevitably undermine law enforcement’s ability to keep communities safe.

“It also exposes localities to litigation costs for Fourth Amendment violations and racial profiling by requiring officials to fully comply with all immigration detainer requests, regardless of whether there has been a judicial determination of probable cause —a practice that has been ruled unconstitutional by several courts across the country and a cost taxpayers should not have to undertake.

“While we are disappointed with today’s vote, we remain dedicated to preventing this unconstitutional bill from becoming law and defending the civil rights and liberties of all Floridians.” 

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