Following President Donald Trump’s promise last week that his administration would make immigration arrests across the nation, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody’s office said Tuesday it had not received any formal complaints about violations of the state’s new law banning so-called sanctuary cities.
The law, which went into effect on July 1, forces all state and local officials to fully comply with federal immigration laws and to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. If local governments or local law enforcement agencies fail to make their “best efforts” in cooperating with federal immigration authorities, Moody is responsible for evaluating those cases.
“We have not received complaints since the law’s implementation date,” said Lauren Schenone, Moody’s director of public affairs. “The facts and circumstances of every complaint will be different, and our office will thoroughly evaluate each of them.”
Under the state law, Moody’s office “may file suit against a local governmental entity or local law enforcement agency in a court” for violations of the sanctuary cities ban. Rep. Cord Byrd, a Neptune Beach Republican who co-sponsored the sanctuary cities bill during this spring’s legislative session, told The News Service of Florida that he is not aware of any Florida officials who may have been in violation.
As South Florida and other communities with large numbers of immigrants braced for expected Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids over the weekend, Sen. Joe Gruters, a co-sponsor of the bill and chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, tweeted on Sunday that any local or state official who is found to violate the law will be "held accountable.”