Even the U.S. Department of Justice has concluded that there are no Florida jurisdictions that qualify as sanctuary cities, which are vaguely defined as jurisdictions that don't cooperate with federal efforts to detain and deport undocumented immigrants.
Yet the issue persists as a hot topic in the Florida gubernatorial race. Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum have traded shots over it. Putnam has warned that Gillum wants a statewide expansion of policies that prevent the deportation of immigrants in the country illegally. But despite Gillum's criticism of President Donald Trump's mass deportation policies, even the Center for Immigration Studies, a group that favors stricter immigration laws and tracks jurisdictions that are lax on enforcement, says Tallahassee doesn't qualify as a sanctuary city.
But Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran, who is expected to run for governor this year in a field with Putnam and possibly Trump favorite Ron DeSantis, is still making eliminating sanctuary cities one of his top priorities this year.
HB 9 is sponsored by Rep. Larry Metz, R-Yalaha and would require state and local agencies to obey federal immigration enforcement and would bar sanctuary policies.
Corcoran went to an old conservative standby — California — to promote the legislation on Tuesday.