A federal judge temporarily blocked part of a controversial Florida law calling on local police to cross state lines to aid federal immigration officials.
According to The Miami Herald, Miami U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom canceled a small piece of the state law that forced Florida police officers to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement agencies, like U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The Florida law, which is set to be enforced starting Tuesday, will continue to forbid sanctuary cities.
Bloom’s ruling states that local police cannot transport undocumented immigrants across state lines at the request of the feds, clarifying it is strictly the job of the federal government.
But, her ruling maintained that local police departments would still be required to hold those arrested in jail for an extra two days until ICE picks them up. Everyone under her command, however, did not agree with her ruling.
“I’m a little baffled by it. … It’s ridiculous,” said South Miami Mayor Philip Stoddard, a plaintiff in the case. “It’s putting immigration enforcement above public safety.”
DeSantis signed the bill in June, the law went into effect on the first of July, and it will now begin to be enforced by police this Tuesday.
The law will allow the governor or attorney general to take action on elected officials who refuse to comply with the law, including removing them from office.
“This means If ICE tells you to drop everything, patrol, protection of schools, criminal investigations, you have to go play Cowboys and Indians with ICE,” Stoddard said. “Local law enforcement is secondary to immigration enforcement.”
To stay in accordance with the new Florida law, law enforcement offices in all 67 Florida counties will be required to enter into formal agreements with ICE. In the agreements, ICE promises to pay local governments $50 for holding an immigrant up to an extra two days.
Mayor Stoddard said the decision makes for “bad law from a municipal standpoint.”
“As soon as the community perceives the local police as agents of ICE, they stop talking to the local police, and that makes everybody less safe,” he stated. “Now, there will be a whole segment of our community unwilling to report crimes. It’s already the case in a lot of immigrant communities, and this makes it worse.”