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

April 26, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, FL – Today the Senate voted to pass Senate Bill 168, which would require state and local law enforcement agencies and other entities to comply with all federal immigration enforcement detainer arrest requests. In particular, it requires Florida law enforcement to detain individuals without a judicial determination of probable cause.

Senate Bill 168 also forces local city and county governments to spend their already limited resources on immigration enforcement, which is the job of the federal government. Despite calls from civil rights advocates that Senate Bill 168 would lead to more racially profiling of communities of color across the state, and grave concerns held by numerous business leaders, and police chiefs, state lawmakers passed this bad policy.

Micah Kubic, executive director, ACLU of Florida, responded to today’s vote on SB 168, stating:

“Let's be clear: regardless of what proponents say, SB 168 is not about safety and it's not about making Florida officials follow "the rule of law." It’s about forcing local law enforcement to blindly carry out unlawful and unreliable ICE requests, in ways that are affronts to civil rights and human dignity.It's about codifying racial profiling into law and targeting vulnerable communities across Florida. There are no sanctuary cities in Florida. The data does not support what the sponsors of these bills claim is a problem in Florida. All this bill does is create problems for all Floridians.

“The truth is that local governments should decide how local resources are spent and local law enforcement should spend their time serving local communities—not on enforcing federal immigration law. ICE’s broken detainer system has already wrongfully disrupted the lives and families of Floridians across the state; now, this bill is guaranteed to tear even more families apart, waste taxpayer money and further weaken community-police trust.

“Despite these concerns, despite the fact that state lawmakers’ claims that this bill targets “bad criminals” are proven false by the data, and despite the fact that hundreds of U.S. citizens have already gotten caught in Trump’s deportation machine, lawmakers have created a hostile environment for immigrants and people of color that will have real and harmful consequences in our state.

“Senate Bill 168 is an affront to our democracy and to the values we share. We will not stop fighting to protect Floridians’ civil rights.”

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