There are four communities in Tampa Bay that are for undocumented immigrants. These communities are called sanctuaries. Now a proposal that was passed Monday of last week, could erase the sanctuary cities and communities that can be found throughout Florida. If people do not comply, heavy fines and penalties could be put in place and could leave many financially incapable of paying these fees, and would cause them to shut down permanently.

Crackdown and threats

In the wake of President Trump wanting to get illegals out of the country, the proposal HB 697 could mean that county and local law enforcement agencies would be required to comply with federal detention requests which are only optional at this point in time.

The proposed bill has two more committee hearings before it can be put to the test. So far several advocates and five Democratic leaders in the Florida Congress have publicly stated their opposition to the bill. Rep. Larry Metz says the bill would bring meaning to the laws that surround illegal immigration. He stated to Tampa Bay Times that the federal immigration laws have no teeth or bite to have states mandate the law as it stands.

Foot is down

Information from the Center for Immigration Studies, the Washington D.C. think tank that has an interest in stricter policies, says that six counties in Florida are in need to being reprimanded for not enforcing the federal immigration law as it stands.

Hillsborough County is among the six counties which also include Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas, and Hernando. The think tank determined that these four among the six counties in Florida are not complying with U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) and therefore enforcing a bill that calls for people to enforce immigration laws means that the government has to put its foot down on lax approaches to illegal immigration.

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri says the information from CIS is inaccurate and that the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office fully complies with the enforcement of immigration laws with other governmental branches, and it does include ICE. Pinellas stopped honoring ICE holds that had no probable cause for deportation following federal court decisions that determined that detaining requests were not grounded according to the current immigration law.