TALLAHASSEE, FL – FWD.us Florida State Director Ted Hutchinson issued the following statement today opposing Florida State Senate Bill 168 by Senator Joe Gruters (R-Sarasota), which undermines the discretion of local law enforcement by requiring Florida’s communities to enforce federal immigration law:
“SB 168 is a solution in search of a problem because all Florida jurisdictions currently cooperate with federal law enforcement. It is the federal government’s responsibility to enforce federal immigration laws, not state and local law enforcement’s. Law enforcement officers in Florida should continue focusing on combating real public safety threats in our neighborhoods, rather than determining a person’s immigration status. In addition to jeopardizing our public safety, the bill also puts unnecessary financial burdens on local municipalities by further draining agency resources making it more difficult for our local law enforcement to work with our communities and do smart policing.
We must instead work together, embrace diversity and equality, and promote fairness. Congress should do its job and pass comprehensive immigration reform to fix our broken immigration system, so local law enforcement can go about the business of building healthy relationships with all of our communities. I look forward to working with members from both sides of the aisle. Together, we can find solutions that make our communities safer and move us all towards economic prosperity.”