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Senate Signals Support As 'Sanctuary City' Bill Clears Key Committee

Florida lawmakers have stripped language out of a sanctuary city bill that would have penalized local officials who favor such policies. But the measure’s sponsor,  Republican Senator and state GOP Chairman Joe Gruters, says its goal is still the same.

“Local leaders cannot pass laws that would prevent cooperation with the federal government. That’s it. That’s the extent of it," he says.

Gruters’ proposal requires local governments honor federal detainers which call for undocumented immigrants to be held for 48 hours prior to release. Opponents claim such detainers are illegal.

The measure passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on a 4-2 vote, signaling it has momentum. Similar efforts to ban sanctuary cities have  been favored by the House in recent years but ultimately failed due to Senate opposition.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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