Laws have been discussed in the Senate and the Florida House of Representatives that will possibly ban sanctuary cities in that state.
The initiative of both Legislative Chambers requires that all state agencies, municipal governments and the police department comply not only with the federal immigration law, but also work with federal agencies such as the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to detect and deport immigrants.
Let’s start by understanding – what is a Sanctuary City?
A sanctuary city is a city whose law enforcement officers limit their cooperation with federal immigration agents (ICE), with the purpose of creating a certain level of trust and credibility among the immigrant population. The desire is to focus their resources on arresting criminals and not necessarily undocumented immigrants.
The idea of sanctuary cities emerged in the 1980s, when the church in the US provided a sanctuary for Central Americans fleeing the violence of their countries. This was amid the reluctance of the Federal Government to grant refugee status to these immigrants. It was a way to counteract excessive immigration policy particularly to detainees for minor and non-violent crimes.
Most of the policies in the sanctuary cities focus on not cooperating with the application of federal law in immigration policies. Cities are considered as refuges for immigrants where the cooperation of police officers with immigration agents is basically limited because the police do not have the duty to allow the immigration agency to detain a person. Why? This is accomplished through the Tenth Amendment of the US Constitution that limits federal agents to tell state agents what they have to do.
What would be the possible discord that would arise when the federal administration has to deal with a coastal city from the budgetary point of view?
The discord would be that there are sanctuary cities that, by not wanting to collaborate with immigration agents, the answer they would receive from the central government is not to give them federal funds. This would be a form of pressure so that these cities do not maintain the status of sanctuaries.
In the event that the cities decide to collaborate and accept the funds of the federal government and not be more sanctuary cities, a very interesting fact would occur. From the judicial point of view, immigrants who are witnesses or victims of a crime will not be able to report them to the police for fear of being arrested not only by the police, but also by immigration. In fact, there are visas that are based on these criminal cases, how the domestic violence of gangs, etc., where protection is given to those who suffer.
Likewise, it would be necessary to consider the impact that this law has on the economic activity in the city. Surely it would be discouraging, since by ceasing to be a sanctuary city, many immigrant assistance programs would stop providing their services for the same reasons outlined above – “fear of being detained. “Also, the impact on schools, emergency medical services etc.
This law, it should be said, is practically for the signature of the governor.
– First – keep calm, as we know we are in a difficult immigration climate.
– Respect the laws of your community. Do not drive under the influence, do not drive without a license, do not use false documentation, among others.
– Find reliable legal advice that presents legal alternatives to stay in the US, either through a family petition, asylum, marriage, among others.
– Finally, something very important: have a lot of faith.