February 21, 2022

Bill Summary: HB 1355 and SB 1808


Florida has long been a place that attracts immigrants, migrants from other states, and domestic and international tourists. However, HB 1355 and SB 1808, dubbed “Immigration Enforcement,” would set an inhospitable tone toward immigrants, targeting undocumented immigrants and entangling Florida further in federal immigration policy. 

The bill has three provisions.    

“Sanctuary policy” provision

Broadens the definition of “sanctuary policy” to include local policies that limit a law enforcement agency from providing information to a state entity about the immigration status of someone in law enforcement custody. This change expands upon the sanctuary policies ban provision of the “Federal Immigration Enforcement” law Florida passed in 2019. 

This sanctuary policies ban was recently ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge, in part, for its “discriminatory motives” that rely on an “immigrant threat narrative.” Thus, this portion of HB 1355 and SB 1808 is only meaningful if the state wins its appeal on this ruling.

287(g) provision

Requires all Florida law enforcement agencies operating county detention facilities (i.e., jails) to enter into a 287(g) agreement with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a division of the federal Department of Homeland Security. Under these agreements, local law enforcement is trained and deputized to perform certain functions of federal immigration agents, including questioning and detaining immigrants. 

Currently, 46 counties, the state Department of Corrections, and the City of Jacksonville voluntarily have 287(g) agreements with ICE.  This legislation seeks to require all 67 counties to have these agreements.

Common carrier provision

Prohibits all state and local government agencies from contracting with transportation companies (common carriers) — including private businesses — who transport  “unauthorized aliens” into Florida. Examples of common carriers include airlines, trains, and buses. These businesses would be required to provide an “attestation” of compliance to maintain their state and local government contracts.

Although HB 1355 and SB 1808 each define “unauthorized alien” somewhat differently, both bills impact international students and overseas tourists, among other immigrant groups.

Advocates and some state legislators have already raised numerous concerns with HB 1355 and SB 1808, including the harm the common carrier provision would do to unaccompanied minor children and those seeking asylum in the United States. What has yet to be considered are the fiscal implications, specifically of the 287(g) and common carrier provisions.

Citations are included in full bill summary below.

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