A Florida state senator proposes to impose a fine of up to $5,000 a day on officials of “sanctuary cities” who don’t follow federal immigration enforcement policies.
“In Florida, [sanctuary cities] enjoy sovereign immunity, meaning they’re shielded from being sued on any of their decisions in conducting their business,” state Sen. Aaron Bean, sponsor of the bill, told The Daily Signal. “The legislature, if this bill passed, would take away that, and [sanctuary cities] would be able to be held responsible in court for their actions.”
Bean, a Republican who previously served in the Florida House, represents all of Nassau County and part of Duval County.
As of October, Florida has seven “sanctuary counties,” all in the Tampa and Miami areas, according to the Center for Immigration Studies.
The bill, along with two others recently filed in the Florida state legislature, is “going to take a little pushback over illegal immigration in our state,” Bean, 48, said. He added:
We’re going to work on defining what a sanctuary city is. But we envision it [as] any city or county or municipality or entity that doesn’t cooperate. In fact, it could actually be a constitutional officer of a county that doesn’t cooperate with the federal government in tracking, enforcing, keeping up with illegal citizens[.] … We would deem them as a sanctuary.
Bean’s bill, SB 872, was filed Nov. 17 in the Florida Senate. A section reads:
Upon adjudication by the court or as provided in a consent motion declaring that a state entity, state official, law enforcement agency, local governmental entity, or local government official has violated this chapter, the court shall enjoin the unlawful policy or practice and order that such entity or official pay a civil penalty to the state of at least $1,000 but not more than $5,000 for each day that the policy or practice was found to be in effect before the injunction was granted.
State Rep. Larry Metz introduced an identical bill, HB 675, in the Florida House.

About 340 counties, cities, and states nationwide have been deemed sanctuary cities that protect illegal immigrants from deportation—including criminals.

“Cities that provided sanctuary to illegal aliens are also providing sanctuary for criminal illegal aliens who, according to GAO reports, are repeat criminal offenders who victimize thousands of Americans,” said Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, referring to the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

Earlier this year, Kate Steinle, 32, was shot to death by an illegal immigrant in San Francisco. The accused man had been deported five times, had been convicted of seven felonies, and was in the San Francisco County Jail on drug-related charges a couple of months before the shooting.  

“Cities providing sanctuary for criminal illegal aliens should be fined by the states to deter such misbehavior,” von Spakovsky said, adding:
The state legislature should also consider lifting the sovereign immunity of all city officials who implement sanctuary policies, so that citizens who are injured by criminal aliens can directly sue those officials for their actions in providing such criminals with safe havens in which to commit their crimes.
Bean said that under his bill, a sheriff who lets an illegal immigrant out of jail “would be able to be sued and not have that immunity that he would enjoy otherwise.”

Some who defend sanctuary cities are worried that cities and other jurisdictions will pass laws that hurt illegal immigrants.

“Innovative regions of the world depend on ambitious, creative people who come from other parts of the world to contribute to our economy,” San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, a Democrat, told USA Today. “I think cities that become viewed as hostile toward immigrants will ultimately be forced to rethink their approach.”

Another bill filed in the Florida Senate, SB 750, would limit the amount of money that low-income households of illegal immigrants could receive from the state. A similar bill, HB 563, was filed in the Florida House.

The federal government gives Florida money to distribute to families. Florida subtracts the amount of benefits those families already receive, and other income, from the total benefits for which a family qualifies, Bean said.

“Right now, the state of Florida doesn’t recognize illegal citizens for what they earn, and so they get nothing subtracted,” Bean said. “Illegal citizen households are getting more in benefits than the traditional legal residents in our state.”

A third bill “ramps up the degree of charges” for illegal immigrants accused of committing crimes, he said.  

The next legislative session in Florida opens Jan. 12. Bean said he intends to make these bills the top priority and “hopefully make our state a safer one.”

A “handful” of lawmakers will push to get the bills through the legislature, he said, noting that he has joined with Metz, state Sen. Travis Hutson, and state Rep. Matt Gaetz.

“We think it’s just a shame the federal government hasn’t done its duty in defending our borders, enforcing our rules,” Bean said, “and that’s why we’ve decided as a state we’re going to step up and see what we can do.”
On Driver's Licenses for Illegal Aliens, States' Rights, and Discrimination

 By Dan Cadman

 CIS Immigration Blog,

 It is hard to imagine how a claim of unconstitutional discrimination could possibly be sustained. First, the ballot measure is facially neutral. It denies a license to anyone who is illegally in the country, without regard to race, ethnicity, or national origins. An overstayed Canadian of Northern European origins would be denied a license as surely as a mestizo from Mexico.

Second, individuals lawfully residing in the United States — including, obviously, people of Mexican or Central American origin — are all entitled to licenses without other qualifiers or caveats, so they are clearly unaffected. Surely if there were state-sanctioned "animus toward persons from Mexico and Central America" it would leak over into other provisions of the motor vehicle laws. But it clearly has not.
. . .

Number of Unaccompanied Kids Crossing Border Has Doubled in Last Year 

By Joel Gehrke 

 National Review Online, November 25, 2015 . . . About 3,400 people cleared to receive the children “have later been determined to have criminal convictions including re-entry after deportation, DUI, burglary, distribution of narcotics, domestic violence, homicide, child molestation, and sexual assault,” Senate majority whip John Cornyn and Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Charles Grassley wrote in a Monday letter to HHS and the Department of Homeland Security.. .


Lawless: The Obama Adminstration’s Uprecedented Assault on the Constitution and the Rule of Law

 12:00-1:00 p.m., Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Heritage Foundation, Lehrman Auditorium
214 Massachusetts Ave NE
Washington DC 20002-4999


Overview: In Lawless, George Mason University law professor David E. Bernstein offers a scholarly and unsettling account of how the Obama Administration has undermined the Constitution and the rule of law. He documents how the President has presided over one constitutional debacle after another – from Obamacare to unauthorized wars in the Middle East to attempts to strip property owners, college students, religious groups, and conservative political activists of their rights, and more.

Respect for the Constitution’s separation of powers has been violated time and again. Whether in amending Obamacare on the fly or signing a memorandum legalizing millions of illegal immigrants, the current Administration ignores not only Congress, but also the Constitution’s critical checks and balances.

In Lawless, Professor Bernstein shows how the Constitution as well as the President’s own stated principles have been betrayed. In doing so, serious and potentially permanent damage has been done to our constitutional system and repairs must be addressed by the next President of the United States.