Federal Court Upholds Florida Immigration Law - More Such Legislation May Be In the Pipeline
On April 13, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta overturned a previous ruling delivered by a district judge in southern Florida which had, in turn, blocked portions of a Florida law banning “sanctuary cities" in the state.
A “sanctuary policy” is when a city, county or state government declares that it will not cooperate with federal immigration authorities. It’s been going on for decades.
The Biden administration has basically turned the whole country into an illegal alien sanctuary. Once an illegal alien reaches the U.S. interior, it’s unlikely he’ll be deported.
Does that mean it’s a waste of time for Florida, or any other state, to fight sanctuary policies?
No indeed. They are still worth fighting, as the legal system is one of the avenues by which states such as Florida and Texas can fight the lawless Biden Border Rush, itself a violation of federal law.
In May of 2019, the Florida legislature passed the law in question, referred to as SB 168.
In July of 2019, activist groups, including the Florida Immigrant Coalition and the Farmworker Association of Florida, filed suit against the law, alleging an intent to discriminate.
This was upheld by U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom. She ruled against two parts of the law, one banning sanctuary policies in Florida, the other requiring Florida police agencies to put forth their “best efforts” to support federal immigration enforcement.
According to this judge, the law resulted from an “immigrant threat narrative,” and that it “has discriminatory or disparate effects on racial and ethnic minorities, and these discriminatory effects were both foreseeable and known to the Legislature at the time of SB 168's enactment.”
This recent ruling by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was written by Chief Judge William Pryor and Judges Stanley Marcus and Kathryn Kimball Mizelle. It ordered the activists’ lawsuit dismissed and said they didn’t even have standing to bring suit against the law.
From the decision:
First the organizations maintain that their members have suffered, and will continue to suffer, racial profiling by law enforcement complying with SB 168. Second, the organizations assert that they have diverted resources from existing programs to respond to SB 168. Neither theory holds water.
Because the organizations lack standing, we cannot opine on the merits of this case. But our holding that the organizations lack standing should not be read as suggesting that we agree with the district court on the merits. Indeed, we have grave doubts about the merits, but the district court lacked jurisdiction to rule on them.
Furthermore, the court ruled the activist groups hadn’t established “that their members face present harm or a 'certainly impending' threat of racial profiling as a result of SB 168.”
The groups should have awaited “concrete evidence” of profiling and even if they could prove local law enforcement profiled, that doesn’t mean said profiling was “based on SB 168."
Of course, such accusations of “profiling” are a simply a trick to eliminate the distinctions between U.S. citizens and illegal aliens.
These are still live issues in Florida. There are currently two bills pending in Florida legislature committees that deal with immigration issues.
HB 1617 is the House version. Among other measures, this one “requires private employers to use E-Verify system to verify employment eligibility of persons who accept employment offers.”
SB 1718 is the Senate version. It declares invalid "certain driver licenses and permits" issued to illegal aliens from other states and increases the fine for hiring illegal aliens.
Both prohibit funding for the issuance of ID to those who can’t prove legal presence in the U.S.
Will these bills be united into a law that will be passed by the legislature?
The American Civil Liberties Union [sic] sure hates it.
The ACLU says it “[c]riminalizes Floridians who shelter, support, and provide transportation to undocumented immigrants” and authorizes “random checks of businesses to ensure compliance.”
The ACLU doesn’t want the government enforcing immigration law.
How about Florida voters?
You can find more of Allan Wall's work at his website.