After successfully pushing through a controversial law that bans so-called sanctuary cities, the chairman of the Republican Party of Florida is planning a statewide “listening” tour on immigration.
Sen. Joe Gruters, a Sarasota Republican who doubles as state GOP chairman, announced Monday that plans are in the works to hear from Floridians on immigration, a key issue heading into the 2020 presidential election.
“I don’t believe we should ever compromise when it comes to enacting common sense policies that promote public safety and uphold the laws of the land,” Gruters said in a news release that also touted a trip he took to the U.S.- Mexico border. “I want to hear straight from Floridians and listen to their ideas on what additional reforms they’d like to see the Legislature address next session.”
Gov. Ron DeSantis on June 14 signed the sanctuary-cities bill (SB 168), sponsored by Gruters and Rep. Cord Byrd, a Neptune Beach Republican who will take part in the listening tour.
The new law is designed to force local law-enforcement agencies to fully comply with federal immigration detainers and share information with federal immigration authorities after undocumented immigrants are in custody.
Under the law, local governments would be required to “use their best efforts to support the enforcement of federal immigration law.”
Opponents have argued, in part, that the bill will lead to increased detention and deportation of undocumented immigrants, including people stopped by police for minor offenses. Dates and locations for the appearances by Gruters and Byrd were not immediately released.