Governor Ron DeSantis signs bill banning Florida governments from adopting sanctuary city policies

OKALOOSA COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Immigration, specifically illegal immigration, has been a hot top in recent years in the United States.

Hundreds showed up to watch Governor Ron DeSantis sign the bill. (WJHG/WECP)

Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill Friday in Okaloosa County prohibiting local governments from adopting sanctuary city policies.

“We are not immigration agents in Florida, it’s a federal responsibility, but when you have the criminal aliens who are in our possession and you have the federal government that wants to take them, well, to me that’s a no brainer,” said Governor DeSantis.

This bill bans Florida governments from protecting illegal immigrants from deportation if they commit a crime.

“If you don’t do that, then any additional crimes that that released individual commits, well, that’s because you’ve chosen to be a sanctuary city, so we’re not going to go down that road, we’re going to have a productive relationship and we’ll be safer as a result,” said Governor DeSantis.

Starting next month, officials must work with federal immigration authorities or face the consequences.

“Depending on what type of official you are, you know, that could subject that official to suspension by the governor, there’s also legal remedies for that,” said the Governor.

Governor DeSantis said he is confident signing the bill is the right decision.

“A lot of people said to me, ‘Hey, there aren’t sanctuary cities in Florida, why do we need this?’ Well, if that’s the case, then great, we’ll just keep going on, but I think the fact that you have a lot of people that were complaining about this, that tells you, you know, that there were at least some places that wanted to embrace some of the sanctuary policies,” said DeSantis.

He also says it's beneficial to legal immigrants who have worked hard to come to Florida.

“I think that, you know, with those legal immigrants, I think they really are supporting what we’re doing,” said Governor DeSantis.

The bill will take effect on July 1.

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