It’s a law: No more ‘sanctuary cities’ as of July 1

“The data are clear: Crime is statistically significantly lower in sanctuary counties compared to nonsanctuary counties.”

Florida cities will not be sanctuaries for undocumented immigrants, a law signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis makes sure of it.

What is a sanctuary city? 

America’s Voice, an advocacy group in support of immigrants, says there’s no concise definition that encompasses all sanctuary cities but describes them as:

“A city (or a county, or a state) that limits its cooperation with federal immigration enforcement agents in order to protect low-priority immigrants from deportation, while still turning over those who have committed serious crimes.”

Florida has 28 sanctuary cities and counties affected by the change in law, including Hillsborough, Pinellas, Miami-Dade and Orange counties, and cities Tampa, Miami, St. Petersburg and Orlando to name a few.

Hialeah and Miami in Miami-Dade County are ranked one and two, respectively, on the list of U.S. cities with the highest foreign-born population.

The new legislation means Florida counties and cities will be penalized if they don’t comply with rigid federal immigration law. It also prevents them from issuing so-called “sanctuary policies” to protect undocumented immigrants.

In a quote by DeSantis, the governor said

“Sanctuary cities basically create law-free zones where people can come to our state illegally and our country illegally, commit criminal offenses and then just walk right out the door and continue to do it.”

DeSantis’s rhetoric echoes much of what we have heard from Donald Trump on immigration, but is it accurate?

No, it’s not. At least, that’s according to NPR’s Gene Demby of Code Switch, who says “immigrants who are in the country illegally are less likely to commit crimes or be incarcerated than the general population.” 

Following that logic, it would mean sanctuary cities are actually safer. A recent study by Tom K. Wong, Senior Fellow of Center for American Progress, confirms just that.

In a definitive statement, Wong says, “The data are clear: Crime is statistically significantly lower in sanctuary counties compared to nonsanctuary counties.”

Still, DeSantis signed the measure in June and it goes into effect July 1. It remains to be seen what impact, if any, the new law will have on Florida’s sanctuary cities and counties.

Melissa S. Razdrih

Melissa S. Razdrih is a Tampa correspondent for Florida Politics. Razdrih graduated with a Bachelor's degree from the University of Tampa in 2006 and went on to earn a Master's degree before switching gears to write professionally. Since then, Razdrih has been published in national blogs, like PopSugar, and local publications, like Tampa Bay Business and Wealth, on everything from self-care to cryptocurrency, but politics is her passion. Contact her at [email protected].


  • A.K

    July 1, 2019 at 8:16 am

    love the logic in the quote by the NPR correspondent. In essence, a lawbreaker is less likely to break the law! It makes as much sense as, “Deceased residents are less likely to vote Republican.” You can’t make this stuff up.

  • gary

    July 1, 2019 at 12:39 pm

    What a bullshit article! Nobody believes for a second that illegals are less likely to commit crimes. Besides, they are already criminals by entering illegally! Dumb conversation!

  • margarita romo

    July 1, 2019 at 4:08 pm

    How sad! you forget when the MayFlower landed! the natives greeted them, they shared what they had…Thousands of Indians were killed, their lands, and sacred places taken, did they use harsh language that you would not say in church today…the march of the Cherokee did you forget that? then came the slaves, after the indentured white servants that came with the well to do from england learn how to indenture the Indians….how sad that we forget the cruel things we have done…it is true that the undocumented commit less crimes they are doing the work Americans are to lazy to do..for a meager wage…how did the citrus farmers get rich? who picked their fruit? I am an American, and I have walked with these folks for 47 years, and what you speak of i have not seen…Jesus taught us to love our neighbor as ourselves he did not say who not to love….Blessings…

    • gary

      July 2, 2019 at 2:21 pm


      Every country has a history. Some good, some bad! It’s called history for a reason!

      If we examined your history I am sure we would fine the same about, some good, some bad. Same can be said for me.

      The point is, history does not represent who we are currently. America has corrected a lot of it’s flaws over the years, just as you and I have.

      The huge failure in this conversation is using history as an argument to say that the current state of America can never be respected because of it’s history. If that is true, then we as people should probably all be erased along with America’s history!

      Bottom line, this is an intellectually unsophisticated conversation!

      As for who pics the oranges being harvested it will get solved as these always do… supply and demand will get fruit picked as always. That is how it works in a free market!

  • NannyB

    July 1, 2019 at 4:22 pm

    The blame for undocumented illegal aliens living free and unencumbered in a city totally rests on the heads of those that allow it. Those illegals that are smart, stay below the crime line but there are those that commit such heinous crimes that they MUST be noticed. Yet…they too go free. The offender needs to arrested and deported along with those in authority that allow it. Maybe then, these “authorities” will decide to become lawful citizens and follow the laws of our country.

  • Ra. Munn

    July 1, 2019 at 5:31 pm

    That is crap.

  • Max Lowery

    July 1, 2019 at 11:47 pm


    The current migration at our border is costing taxpayers a Kings ransom ($17,000 per day ABC news.) Fleeing persecution? or fleeing for freebies? they sure don’t stay in Mexico when they reach “safety” or ask or offered political asylum in Mexico. Why? because Mexico will give them NOTHING. So they make the long journey to our border, our generous Democrats, and our tax dollars.

    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) 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.

    Just a few examples of the more outrageous costs associated with illegal immigration, we will pass this burden on to our children & grand children as has been passed on to us.

    * City emergency services Taxpayer pay for every police, fire, paramedic service call for illegal aliens in their city. Taxpayers also pay for all hospital, emergency room treatments, ambulances, medications….everything. Hospital wait times for citizens are negatively impacted.

    *Cost of educating illegal aliens is staggering. From K-12 it costs taxpayers on average $122,000 for EACH illegal alien student. This does not include the millions spent on bilingual ED, instructors, special need children & day care. It is estimated nearly 100,000 illegal aliens graduate each year……you do the math. School class size are also negatively impacted by illegal aliens and our students suffer as a result.

    *Taxpayers in some states are funding “in state college tuition” discounts for illegal aliens. (AZ voted to terminate this taxpayer expense.) Cost to taxpayers over a billion dollars annually.

    *About one in five inmates in federal prison are foreign-born, & more than 90% of those are in the U.S illegally. This does not include local jails and state prisons. At roughly $24,000 per year expense per inmate.

    *$3Million Dollars a DAY is spent to incarcerate, process Illegal aliens in the criminal justice system.

    *$2.2 Billion dollars a year is spent on is spent on food assistance programs such as SNAP, WIC, & taxpayer funded school lunches.

    *Mexico received 33 billion last year in remittance from our country. $120 billion total was sent out of the United States in total remittance last year.

    *Every child birth by illegal aliens in the U.S is paid for with tax dollars.In the US, the average cost to have a baby without complications during delivery, is $10,808, which can increase to $30,000 when factoring in care provided before and after pregnancy (July 9, 2018 google.)

    * Section 8 housing. Illegal aliens take full advantage of this program. Citizens & their families in poverty in many cases wait years behind non citizens for emergency housing.

    • gary

      July 2, 2019 at 2:24 pm

      Well said!

  • Reynaldo

    July 4, 2019 at 5:03 am

    Laughable editorial.

Comments are closed.


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