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Florida lawmakers pass ‘sanctuary cities’ ban

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Legislation that would give Florida one of the strictest laws in the nation against so-called sanctuary cities is headed to Gov. Ron DeSantis, giving him a chance to fulfill a key campaign promise.

The governor praised the final passage of the bill Thursday by the House and Senate after emotional debate in both chambers during the final days of the legislative session. He thanked House Speaker Jose Oliva and Senate President Bill Galvano, as well as the sponsors of the bill for “recognizing the importance of the issue.”

“Local law enforcement agencies can and should work with the federal government to ensure that accountability and justice are one in our state,” the governor said in a prepared statement.

The governor’s desire to force local and state officials to fully cooperate with federal immigration authorities exposed a sharp partisan divide in the Legislature on how the state, which has about 800,000 undocumented immigrants, should enforce immigration laws. The legislative debate also came amid national battles about President Donald Trump’s attempts to curb illegal immigration.

The legislation had lawmakers from Northeast Florida on opposite sides.

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