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ACLU warns 'immigrants and people of color to use extreme caution when traveling in Florida'


The state legislature is considering a law that would require local law enforcement to cooperate with federal immigration authorities

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The American Civil Liberties Union has issued a warning to minorities to "use extreme caution" when traveling in Florida.

Here's what we know

On Monday, the ACLU said in a tweet that "immigrants and people of color" should "use extreme caution when traveling in Florida" because of a "draconian anti-immigrant bill" that the state is "on the verge of passing."

In a news release echoing the warning, the ACLU's Florida affiliate claimed that these bills could lead to "the increased likelihood of racial profiling, unjust detention, and possible deportation."

But what is this law?

While states such as Washington are enacting sanctuary laws so that they don't have to cooperate with federal immigration officials, Florida is headed in the opposite direction.

The Florida House and Senate are both currently considering bills that would mandate that state and local law enforcement to use their "best efforts to support the enforcement of federal immigration law." The bills specify that this compliance does not apply if a potential illegal immigrant is a crime victim or a witness to a crime.

This law would also prevent any cities in Florida from enacting sanctuary rules of their own. Miami was a "sanctuary city" until January 2017. While the cities of Orlando and West Palm Beach technically don't fit the definition of "sanctuary cities," they discourage local officials from asking detainees about their immigration status, according to Fox News.

Florida currently had roughly 810,000 illegal immigrants during the period from 2010 to 2015, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Iowa, North Carolina, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas all have similar laws requiring local law enforcement to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

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