‘We ran on this’: Ron DeSantis signs anti-‘sanctuary cities’ bill
Photo via Governor's Office

Sanctuary city bill signing
“It almost came to a standstill."

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday signed a bill passed earlier this year that requires local governments to work with the feds to enforce immigration laws.

The legislation began as an anti-“sanctuary cities” measure, though critics noted officially there were no sanctuary cities in Florida to begin with.

Now, the “Rule of Law Adherence Act” (SB 168), carried by Sarasota Republican state Sen. Joe Gruters, will “require state and local governments and law enforcement agencies … to support and cooperate with federal immigration enforcement.”

The immigration issue presented a flashpoint throughout the 2019 Legislative Session, with protesters at committee meetings and Democrats doing everything possible to kill the bill, though numbers ultimately were not on their side.

The Florida Democratic Party and immigration organizations lambasted the measure once again on Friday, with one group even saying it will “terrorize” immigrant families.

But DeSantis was greeted with nothing but resounding cheers at the Okaloosa County Commission building, a world away from the controversy over the bill.

The Governor noted that when he was campaigning, he promised to “deliver on promises.”

“One of the promises (was) to do whatever we can on the state level to fight illegal immigration, specifically sanctuary cities,” DeSantis said.

That’s because sanctuary cities, contends DeSantis, create “law-free zones.”

“When I sign this bill,” he added, “… in Florida that will not happen.”

“We ran on this,” DeSantis said. “A lot of the stuff we ran on, people couldn’t get done … we got it done.”

“This bill is simple … it’s our state’s policy that we work with the federal government,” DeSantis said, saying sanctuary cities “defy federal law.”

“We’re going to cooperate to ensure the safety of our cities and communities,” DeSantis vowed.

The bill marshals 287(g) agreements, if a non-citizen is arrested. Those agreements offer avenues for federal reimbursement for detainment.

DeSantis recognized Gruters and House sponsor Cord Byrd before calling up U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, a congressional ally of his and President Donald Trump.

Gaetz, in remarks that touched on a number of topics over many minutes, noted the huge local interest in the bill signing that required the location to be moved to the commission building. He lauded DeSantis for being the “boldest, most popular governor in America,” as well as supporting law enforcement and public safety.

Gaetz noted that 5,000 illegal immigrants show up at the southern border everyday, and they are dispersed by a “catch and release” policy.

“They get a plane ticket anywhere in the country,” Gaetz said to groans. “And you pay for it!”

Gruters said this was a “historic day.”

“Florida is at the forefront of the entire country when it comes to passing meaningful legislation,” Gruters said. “This truly was a team effort … 244 amendments … had to pass it twice on the Senate floor and three times on the House floor.”

“It almost came to a standstill,” Gruters said. “Then the Governor got involved … at the end, when it really mattered, he engaged.”

“We passed the strongest ban on sanctuary cities in the entire country,” Gruters added, noting the bill is “about criminal illegal aliens who have broken other laws.”

Rep. Byrd said the bill was “about recognizing American citizenship.”

“We kept hearing opponents of the bill talk about illegal aliens,” Byrd said.

He added that the bill was about putting citizens first.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Frankie M.

    June 14, 2019 at 12:50 pm

    Have fun picking your own oranges

    • Alan

      June 14, 2019 at 7:05 pm

      Another anti-American spews garbage and wants to put U.S. citizens at risk…

      • Thomas Daly

        June 14, 2019 at 10:56 pm

        Fairly bigoted commentary insinuating that illegals are good only for picking oranges. Do you have any data suggesting that legal Americans aren’t willing or capable of picking fruit? Maybe if farms would stop employing illegals for under the table pay and offered fair wages, we wouldn’t need to depend on those illegals to pick those oranges. Let me guess, you’re not willing to pay extra for your produce if Americans are getting paid fair wages for doing so.

        • Bob bobsen

          June 15, 2019 at 7:44 am

          But they ARE willing to make other people pay more taxes to pay for their gibs.

    • Juan

      June 15, 2019 at 9:51 am

      We’ll eat less oranges. Enjoy mowing your own lawn

  • gary

    June 14, 2019 at 1:03 pm

    Thank you Ron D for putting Florida citizens first! I will be happy to pay more for things that illegals can no longer provide so that Floridians will not die at the hands of illegals because nationally over 7000 American citizens die every year due to illegals that should not be here in the first place! Just imagine getting that all from the police that your son/daughter/husband or wife has been killed by an intoxicated illegal alien with multiple arrest. How horrifying an event to know that your government could have prevented your loved ones death!

    • Joey

      June 15, 2019 at 1:25 pm

      How many die from white American terorrists?

      • gary

        June 16, 2019 at 5:48 pm

        @Joey, love the “what about” weak try.

        But since you mentioned it… guess how many of those “White American Terrorists” are DEMOCRATS?

        Answer: 90% of all shooters!

        The most recent ones, say the last 20 years, only one was a Republican, and he joined the party because he hated his foster mother and she was a Democrat.. That was the Parkland shooter.


    June 14, 2019 at 9:16 pm

    Lets see, we have Democrat / Socialist / Activists in the Northern Triangle of South America & Mexico; even as you read this instructing the populations the “benefits” & laws of coming to the USA and to make sure you bring your children and use the the magic words…..”credible fear.” Mexico recently arrested two socialist activists who were instrumental in the organizing of prior caravans,

    Then you have a Democrat House saying the crisis is “manufactured” as literally thousands attack our border daily? National Sovereignty is a myth to Democrats. The crisis is manufactured…by the Democrats themselves. Make no mistake about this, Democrats want this to happen and never stop.. They will with hold border security support allowing as many illegal aliens to enter the country as possible overwhelming our BP & ICE before assisting in border security (if ever).

    To Democrats/Progressives/Socialists (whats the difference?) programs like Temporary Protective Status (TPS) or Deferred Action for Childhood arrivals (DACA) or the “visa lottery” program (Chuck Schumer’s idea) are permanent programs. There is nothing “temporary or deferred” about these programs to Democrats. These programs are designed to admit refugees (usually from the third world) then Democrats fight to keep them here permanently using the charge of racism, religion, guilt, against anyone opposed. Simple formula works great.

Comments are closed.


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