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New Controversial Immigration Bill

In the current political United States Presidential campaign, there has been much debate among the running candidates about Sanctuary cities and believed it or not many Americans may have never heard of this term.

Attorneys and lawyers read that in the mid-1980, the United Sates and Canada started to designate some cities as Sanctuary cities where undocumented immigrants can live without prosecution of certain immigration laws. These cities protect immigrants from the police or government officials to inquire about his or her immigration status.

As recent as March 2016, a bill passed in Florida that limits the enforcement of immigration procedures. State and local law requirements must support current federal immigration law. No longer will federal immigration agents be blocked by such laws and law enforcement officials must now cooperate and communicate with these federal immigration officers.

Controversial Immigration Bill

This law now allows for hefty fines of up to $5,000 a day as a penalty sanctioned by the attorney general's office or state attorney against any government agencies violating this law. Now, any public employee must report violations, and if he or she does not, they may have to pay this penalty.

This law now says that if some undocumented immigrant injures a person that citizen shall be able to sue governments and any law enforcement official. Before this law took effect, a provision was pulled out of text which says when a public employee is sued there is a $200,000 limit for damages. However, an amendment put into place means that the names of local government officials may be removed from office. Lawmakers have 90 days to repeal any sanctuary policies.

The comprehensive legal immigration system now has support to restore its credibility when the law is upheld. There are at least 30 counties in Florida with sanctuary policies in place, of which the ACLU in Florida opposes.

The argument of the ACLU of Florida is as follows. Some lawmakers feel that this law is in violation of the Fourth Amendment as it forces agencies to fulfill ICE detainee requests, thus leading to federal civil rights actions. However, it is felt that there are built-in protections against this happening. Those lawmakers who oppose this bill believe that immigration issues are best left up to the federal government. Additionally, it is felt by opposers of this law that local governments are penalized by what the federal governments do in regards to immigration.

Another argument is that many lawmakers believe that Florida has no real Sanctuary cities where there is a lack of cooperation with federal immigration agents.

Before this bill came into effect, communication between the federal government and local governments allowed for possible deportation of immigrants charged with minor crimes such as shoplifting, and lawmakers outlawed cities banning employees from reporting person's immigration status to immigration agents.

State and local law enforcement employees receive training in the specialized immigration enforcement. However, these individuals are given no general power coming from the state and local levels. The legislation makes undocumented immigrant status no longer a civil offense, but a felony.

Homeland Security no longer tolerates interference by Sanctuary cities requiring the legal position of employees.

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