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Sweeping Immigration Bill Passed by Florida House

The Florida House of Representatives recently passed an extensive immigration reform bill that will penalize those who do not cooperate with federal immigration authorities. Florida, along with several other states, is looking to implement harsher restrictions on “sanctuary cities” by imposing harsh fines and even removal from office for immigration officers who do not adhere to the proposed legislation. According to data compiled by The Pew Research Center in 2012, it is estimated that there are approximately 925,000 undocumented immigrants in the state of Florida – and that the number is steadily rising.

Rep. Larry Metz of Yalaha commented on the bill, saying that while the majority of immigrants are honest, hardworking people, the state needed to put in place measures to ensure local immigration authorities follow the law. Metz filed the bill due to the widely-publicized shooting of Kate Steinle, a woman who was shot and killed on San Francisco’s Pier 14 in July 2015 by a Mexican immigrant who was in the country illegally. The suspect, Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, had been deported five prior times and has seven prior felony convictions. Prior to the shooting, Sanchez was released by the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department despite requests from federal immigration authorities to keep him in custody.

It is estimated that up to 30 different counties in Florida with sanctuary policies that limit collaboration between immigration authorities and local law enforcement could be affected by the legislation if it becomes law. Critics of the law, such as Rep. Hazelle Rogers and Rep. Joe Geller claim that it would deter immigrants from reporting crimes or other issues to law enforcement out of fear of being deported by federal authorities.

If signed into law, the bill would require cities and counties with sanctuary policies to repeal and reform their policies within 90 days. Prosecutors would be given the power to fine governments who fail to repeal their policies, and the governor would reserve the right to remove local officials from office if investigations prove their policies caused someone injury or death.

Top-Rated Immigration Advocacy in Daytona Beach

If you are in need of powerful legal assistance for an immigration matter in Daytona Bech or Volusia County, the knowledgeable immigration lawyers at David F. Vedder, P.A. can protect your interests in court and maximize your chances of securing a desirable outcome for your situation. With more than 35 years of experience and a proven track record of success, your case is sure to be in excellent hands. Schedule an initial case review online or call (386) 968-8880 today to review your legal options.