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Gillum On Immigration Order: Wrong To Force Choice Between 'Security And Compassion'

The Florida Immigration Coalition gathers at the Florida Capitol to push back against a measure that would require local governments to cooperate with Immigration Customs Enforcement (2019).
Florida Immigrant Coalition

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum says it’s wrong to make cities choose between “security and compassion” when it comes to immigration. The rising Democratic star and potential gubernatorial candidate is pushing back on a Presidential Executive order.

The definition of a sanctuary city is broad: but it usually applies to those with some sort of policy or law in place that governs interactions with federal immigration enforcement agencies. Tallahassee has no such language on its books, but officials say the city is also not going to go out of its way to enforce the immigration mandates coming out of President Donald Trump’s administration. A recent presidential executive order would restrict some federal funding to sanctuary cities.

In a statement, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum says the order criminalizes people based on their immigration status.

"These are working people who pay taxes in our country," Gillum writes. "They are attending public schools alongside our children and graduating as valedictorians and standout students. They are critical members of our local, state and national economy, and contribute to the culture of our society. A decision between security or compassionate immigration policy are false choices, we can have them both.”

Trump has promised to reduce illegal immigration and has made a series of moves to do that—in addition to the executive order on sanctuary cities, he has signed other orders mandating the construction of a wall along the U.S. Southern border---how that wall would be paid for is still unclear. Florida, is one of the top states for undocumented immigration.

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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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