Florida ban on sanctuary cities declared unconstitutional and discriminatory

A big win in court for FWAF and all our allies who fight for immigrant’s rights: On September 21st a federal judge in Miami blocked Florida from enforcing a ban on sanctuary cities, declaring portions of a law unconstitutional and tinged with “discriminatory motives.”

The ruling was in response to a lawsuit filed by the city of South Miami and other organizations, including the Florida Immigration Coalition, against DeSantis in an effort to strike down the law.

“Not just racist, but unconstitutional”

“The verdict validates what we said three years ago, Governor DeSantis pushed for a law that is not just racist, but unconstitutional,” said Antonio Tovar, a board member of both the Florida Immigrant Coalition and the Farmworker Association of Florida, another group that joined the case.

Judge sees unreliable data generated by hate groups

In her ruling judge Bloom weighed evidence and testimony that focused on how the law, also known as SB 168, was drafted and advanced by the Florida Legislature.

Bloom said the ban on so-called sanctuary policies “was enacted based on biased and unreliable data generated by anti-immigrant hate groups […] despite the chilling effect and disparate impact that this provision would have on immigrant communities” and despite that the ban was “likely to increase the amount of racial profiling that occurs during law enforcement interactions.”

How the law impacted people

In the case, witnesses from FWAF and the other plaintiff groups offered examples of how the law has had a “chilling effect” in immigrant communities. Some testified that more people were victims of domestic violence but refused to involve law enforcement out of fear of deportation. Others said fewer undocumented immigrants are willing to access their healthcare clinics or social services out of fear of being detained.

“A sigh of relief”

FWAF general coordinator Nezahualcoyotl Xiuhtecutli: “Our community breathed a collective sigh of relief! Ever since this bill became law, many of our members who are immigrants felt targeted, and it came on the back of anti-immigrant sentiment and rhetoric. We are happy to see Judge Bloom’s decision to uphold the American adage that we all deserve equal protection under the law, which SB-168 shirked.”

Source: the Miami Herald. Read the whole article here: Miami federal judge blocks Florida from enforcing ban on ‘sanctuary cities’ 

Please take some time to visit our allies: The Florida Immigrant Coalition, Americans for Immigrant Jusitice, the Family Action Network Movement, the Hope Community Center, QLatinx, WeCount and the Guatemalan-Maya Center. Thank you for your interest!

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