Border Security

It’s Now Mandatory for Florida Cities and Counties to Cooperate with ICE

Yet liberal outlets and others refer to a judge's new ruling as a 'controversial law that forbids sanctuary cities' — what's going on here?

Rhetorical question alert: What has American society come to when a state governor and legislature have to implement a law requiring their cities to comply with federal immigration law that the U.S. Congress itself — elected by the American people — has passed?

Rhetorical answer alert: Not to a good place, that’s for certain.

It’s the leftists’ penchant for ignoring laws such as those pertaining to immigration that has frustrated Americans who still believe in the rule of law.

It’s also a big part of this current political gulf in America — one that professor Charles R. Kesler, in a lecture published in Hillsdale College’s Imprimis, described as a “cold civil war.”

Last June, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) kept a campaign promise by signing SB168 into law, which requires all Florida cities to cooperate with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement).

The knee-jerk reaction of Democrat opponents, of course, was to file a lawsuit in federal court that temporarily delayed the law from going into effect.

But U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom recently ruled that parts of a new Florida immigration law, seen by opponents as a “sanctuary city ban,” could go into effect as of October 1. She continued to block a portion of the law requiring state law enforcement to cross state lines to assist ICE.

However, she allowed other portions of the law to go into effect — which now makes it mandatory for Florida cities and counties to cooperate with ICE. 

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Related: Police Officer Is Punished for Assisting ICE

This includes an additional 48-hour holding period after someone is released from a local jail. This gives ICE officials time to pick up suspected illegal aliens whom a judge has declared deportable and for which they’ve issued detainers. 

This political gulf is demonstrated by Channel 6, Miami’s NBC affiliate, which referred to the new law as a “controversial law that forbids sanctuary cities.” Controversial?

So cities and counties operating as “sanctuary” jurisdictions are not reported as controversial, but requiring cities to honor federal law is? Any society based on the rule of law, such as ours, has flipped upside down or turned inside out when it ignores laws it doesn’t like just because it offends a religiopolitical party’s approved dogma.

Instead of changing the laws according to the rules, today’s social justice warriors would rather virtue signal laws out of existence.

That’s because they are good people — very good people, much better than the rest of us, apparently.

Don’t like drug laws? Ignore them.

Don’t like vagrancy laws? Ignore them.

Don’t like immigration laws? Ignore them.

Don’t like a president? Ignore the election results and attempt a coup.

Sensing a pattern of lawlessness here?

Ignoring the law is so much easier than using reason to persuade one’s political opponents and legislators to change the law using this country’s long-established legal rules and procedures.

It makes me wonder how, in good conscience, parents who support ignoring laws as a legitimate political pathway rather than changing laws through elections and ballots can teach their children the importance of following rules? Why should they listen?

Why should anyone follow any law or rule if one prominent group of people chooses to ignore the ones they don’t like?

Rule-breaking has its place. For example, fighting true oppression and tyranny when there is no political recourse available requires breaking unethical and immoral laws. But conflating one’s mainstream political opponents with the worst tyrants in history, to justify defying laws, is diabolical.

But that’s what today’s neo-leftist Democrats do. As long as there are peaceful political means available to effect change, violence and ignoring laws have no place in a democratic republic.

South Miami Mayor Philip Stoddard thinks the new law is “ridiculous” and is “baffled” by the state requiring cities obey the law, as The Epoch Times recently reported. Stoddard feels that it’s “putting immigration enforcement above public safety.”

This newspeak is what baffles the lucid mind. So Stoddard believes enforcing our immigration laws is not in the interest of public safety. Do people think Kate Steinle and myriad other Americans and legal immigrants murdered by criminal illegal aliens feel the same way? 

Remember, in the 48-hour detainer cases, these are not people being picked up while mowing lawns, washing dishes, or playing soccer in the park with their kids. These people are in jail. I know I’m “only” a retired cop — but I do recall a person has to have been suspected of committing a crime to be in jail.

Mayor Stoddard, who is a plaintiff in the lawsuit against the new law, said that “local law enforcement is secondary to immigration enforcement.”

Really? Well, local cops assist, and vice versa, other federal agencies all the time.

The FBI, BATF, DEA, and other agencies cooperate with local cops every day.

Police officers will have to “drop everything” if “ICE tells [them] to,” says Stoddard.

Related: GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis Signs Sanctuary City Ban

This is nonsense. There is no objective person who believes law enforcement agencies at any level that don’t cooperate are enhanceing public safety. Stoddard even went as far as to state flippantly that local cops who are assisting ICE amounts to playing “cowboys and Indians.”

This comment shows Stoddard’s contempt for what law enforcement officers do at every level: risk their lives for the residents he represents. 

On another note, it was curious that Stoddard, as a leftist, would have used such a politically incorrect phrase as “playing cowboys and Indians” when referring to law enforcement officers doing their duty.

Man, these Democrats need to get their micro-aggression triggers in sync, as I see it.    

It’s disheartening for those of us who respect the law when the opposing political party and their media allies look at us if we’re the ones with the “problem” because we want laws enforced and elections honored. How did believing in the rule of law become the deviant position in America?

Objectively, shouldn’t it concern us that today’s illiberal Democrats both ignore the rule of law and eschew equal justice — or they legitimize or justify other party members and officials who are doing it? 

With this new law, Gov. DeSantis and other rational Florida officials are attempting to inject sanity back into the criminal justice system.

My hope is that other states will emulate them.

I’m not sure the neo-Democrat Party has thought out its endgame with this conversion to rabid radicalism.

But a society without respect for its own laws, with contempt for equal justice, and with a multi-tiered justice system — cannot endure.

It just can’t.  

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Steve Pomper
meet the author

Steve Pomper is a retired Seattle police officer. He's served as a field training officer on the East Precinct Community Police Team and as a precinct mountain bike coordinator. He's also the author of four books, including "De-Policing America: A Street Cop's View of the Anti-Police State."

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