Florida House Gearing Up To Ban Sanctuary Policies

The Florida House of Representatives is gearing up to ban sanctuary policies in the state after the House Judiciary Committee approved House Bill (HB) 697 on April 25. HB 697, also known as the “Rule of Law Adherence Act,” was introduced by Representative Larry Metz (R-32) earlier this year. The measure will ensure the state fully participates in immigration enforcement and will eliminate policies that impede enforcement efforts in the state.

Specifically, HB 697 requires all state and local entities to comply with and support immigration enforcement to the full extent permitted by law. The measure also prohibits state and local entities from stopping or limiting public officials’ ability to maintain or communicate immigration status information with the federal government. Law enforcement agencies, under HB 697, are also required to comply with detainers issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

HB 697 also guarantees “whistle-blower” protections to any state or local employees that reports violation of the Act. Any state or local entity that violates HB 697 may be subject of fines up to $5,000 per day they are determined to be in violation of the Act.

Representative Metz introduced HB 697 to support immigration enforcement and maintain Florida’s commitment to the rule of law. “It’s all-important in my view that the rule of law be followed,” Metz said. “If we simply say, ‘If you can get here, you can stay here,’ and we don’t care about the legal distinctions, we’re going to have more and more people coming here illegally and fewer coming here through the legal immigration system.”

Senator Aaron Bean, who introduced a similar bill in the Senate, also commented on the proposal. “The one thing that everybody should know in our country is: We can’t choose which laws we’ll obey or which laws we don’t obey,” said Senator Bean.

State lawmakers around the country have made eliminating expensive sanctuary policies a priority this legislative session. Policies that block immigration enforcement efforts are especially expensive in Florida. In 2014, the Federation for American Immigration Reform estimated that Florida taxpayers pay as much as $5.2 billion annually in costs associated with illegal immigration. Florida has one of the highest populations of illegal aliens in the country, behind California, Texas, and New York.

HB 697 has been put on the third reading calendar and must be approved by the full Florida House before it can be sent to the Florida Senate for consideration. The Florida House passed a similar bill prohibiting sanctuary policies last year, but it failed to advance due to insufficient support in the Florida Senate.

About Author


Dan is the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)'s President after joining the organization in 1982. He has testified more than 50 times before Congress, and been cited in the media as "America's best-known immigration reformer." Dan has appeared on virtually every significant TV and radio news/talk program in America and, in addition to being a contributing editor to ImmigrationReform.com, has contributed commentaries to a vast number of print media outlets.


  1. avatar
    Edward Vanover on

    A fine for violation is not sufficient. There should be a fine (NOT payable with taxpayer funds- only from personal sources) AND a jail sentence. One month per day of determinable offense should be about right, classed as a low-level FELONY.
    When they get a fine AND a record they might think twice. Especially if their ability to work requires that they have NO felony record.

  2. avatar

    The Mexican foreign minister is saying that country will resist a wall and attempts to enforce the border. Is that the Mexican government or the cartels speaking. Not that it makes much difference, because usually they are one and the same. Talk about Russia. We have had 40 years of the narco state of Mexico walking all over us with the active assistance of the Democratic party and Republicans such as John McCain and Lindsay Graham. The few Mexican journalists and politicians who dare to point out the truth are lucky to live a week.

    Mexico likes to pretend that the Southwest US was long a part of historic Mexico. Not even close. The Southwest territories, like Mexico itself, were colonies of Spain for three centuries. After the Mexicans achieved independence in the 1820s they claimed the southwest as theirs. Their hold was tenuous at best and they were unable to achieve any effective control. In fact, they invited Americans to move to Texas because Mexicans simply were not willing to move there and face the Indians and the harsh climate. Those Americans subsequently established their own republic, apart from the. then as now, corrupt government of Mexico.

    • avatar

      who cares Leland……simply you cannot force another country to do what you want…..grow up!!!! There are more efficient ways and approaches to enforce the Law …for instance…”The People ” allowed it you allowed it…..but the lawmakers do ot want to fix immigration and the system….get a life!!!

      • avatar

        You don’t care that Mexican cartels have an established hold in this country because of our porous border? You don;t care that wildlife refuges in Arizona have signs telling visitors not to leave main roads because of danger from smuggling gangs?

        • avatar

          That is what you say…..I said stop crying about all this that does nothing and instead say something constructive….and tell that to The People that do drugs….that is your audience.

          The point is that all this could have been controlled but the people elected does not care…..

          • avatar

            There will always be a certain amount of people who do drugs or deal them. A lot of those drugs come through Mexico. A wall would cut off a substantial part of that and cut down on the chaos the heroin crisis is inflicting on this country. But you and the Democrats don’t want a wall because it would stop illegals also. Nancy Pelosi said even if Trump supported complete amnesty for all illegals here now, the party would still oppose a wall.

          • avatar

            SO Leland when he Colombians introduced cocaine via the ocean….you also want to build a Wall in the ocean?????