The Florida Senate passed a bill on Friday that would ban so-called sanctuary city policies in the state. The measure would require local law enforcement to hand over illegal immigrants to federal authorities for deportation. After the state House of Representatives passed a similar bill on April 24, Democratic lawmakers protested and the American Civil Liberties Union warned immigrants not to travel to Florida. Two days later, the Senate passed the bill along party lines, 22-18. Florida currently does not have any sanctuary cities, so critics say the move is an attempt by the Republican-led state government to show support for President Donald Trump ahead of the 2020 presidential election. —C.C.
A federal judge last week gave the Trump administration a six-month deadline to reunite immigrant families separated at the border.
As part of President Donald Trump’s zero-tolerance policy on illegal immigration, federal agents separated an estimated 2,700 children from parents who illegally crossed the border before June 25, 2018, when U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw of Southern California ordered the U.S. government to stop and reunite the children and their parents within 30 days. Most of those children have reunited with their parents, but in January, the inspector general for the U.S. Health and Human Services Department reported that thousands more children may have been separated since the summer of 2017.
The U.S. government will review about 47,000 cases of unaccompanied children in custody but said it could take up to two years. The plan is to create a program to sort through data and identify the families most likely to have been separated. From there, officials can review cases and follow up as needed. A few complications: The government implemented the zero-tolerance policy before it began tracking this data, and some of the children who were separated are no longer in government custody. Sabraw said he was willing to consider an extension, but not until the Oct. 25 deadline. —C.C.