Oppose HB 9, so-called “Sanctuary Cities” bill

Our immigration system is flawed and must be reformed. This has long been a priority of the bishops and is being considered at the federal level. However, the term “sanctuary cities” is a misnomer and, as proposed in HB 9, no Florida jurisdictions qualify as a sanctuary city as defined in the bill.

Under pretenses that confuse the current state of federal immigration law and state and local law enforcement policies, the Florida House is considering an immigration enforcement bill that is unnecessary, would create significant costs for local governments and undermine local law enforcement.

In a January 9 letter to bill sponsor, Representative Larry Metz (R-Yalaha), Michael Sheedy, FCCB executive director, highlighted the following concerns when considering “Sanctuary Cities” HB 9:

  • At present, state and local law enforcement are in no way precluded from prosecuting crimes.
  • Federal law already requires and protects data sharing with federal immigration enforcement.
  • HB 9 is duplicative of current federal law and no violations are occurring today in Florida.
  • HB 9 would create an unfunded mandate and significantly increase liability for local governments.
  • HB 9 would undermine local law enforcement’s ability to fulfill its mission by eroding community trust.

As the Catholic Church in the U.S. celebrates National Migration Week, January 7-13, the Florida House will be taking up so-called “Sanctuary Cities” HB 9.

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