Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis, has signed one of the strictest laws in the United States against so-called “sanctuary” cities, which protect the undocumented, therefore forcing the local police to cooperate with the immigration authorities to achieve their deportation.
In the midst of applause, the Republican said during the signing of the initiative that he was fulfilling one of his campaign promises to “fight against illegal immigration.”
The bill, approved last April by the Florida Legislature, which has a Republican majority, will come into force on July 1 and gives the police authorities three months to start it.
DeSantis, an ally of the anti-immigrant policy of President Donald Trump, signed the law despite resistance and protests by pro-immigrant groups that moved to Tallahassee, the state capital, for several weeks to show their rejection during their legislative process.
The Florida Immigrant Coalition (FLIC) lamented on Friday the enactment of the law in a state with a 20% immigrant population and announced that “there could be legal challenges” regarding its implementation.
The new law requires all state agencies, municipal governments and police departments not only to comply with federal immigration law, but also to work with federal agencies such as the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to stop and deport the immigrants.
DeSantis criticized the so-called “sanctuary” cities pointing out that these are “law-free” jurisdictions that are exploited by undocumented immigrants to commit crimes.
“It’s a great law that will make Florida safer,” said Republican state Senator Joe Gruters, one of the driving forces behind the measure, during the ceremony in which DeSantis made it law.