Orlando City Council Passes Sanctuary Resolution
By Colton Overcash | July 27, 2018
The Orlando City Council unanimously adopted a resolution on July 23 to bar police officers and other city officials from asking individuals about their immigration status, and from contacting federal immigration officials about any suspicions they may have about a person’s immigration status without meeting new guidelines.
The resolution formalizes an internal police department policy known as the “Bias-Free Policy”, which requires officers to avoid making inquiries about immigration status when making arrests, conducting traffic stops, interviewing witnesses, filing reports, or engaging with members of the community. Additionally, it expands the policy beyond the police department to cover all of city government. Any city employee or law enforcement officer violating this policy is subject to discipline.
Democrat Mayor Buddy Dyer said, “the Orlando police department is not in the business of immigration enforcement.”
While city officials may wish to communicate a message of inclusivity and openness to its constituents, passing this resolution tells individuals in the community that despite violating federal laws, law enforcement and other government officials will turn a blind eye and overlook immigration violations. It is neither criminal nor prejudicial to ask for documentation from a person of interest – particularly if they are caught by the police breaking a law – including illegal aliens. If an individual has broken a state law and then is found to not be lawfully present in the United States, then they are breaking the law twice: plain and simple.
This resolution announces to the world that Orlando is a safe haven for those who wish to evade immigration enforcement. Activist Ahtziry Bererra, who is a “DACA” recipient, stated that “the policy will open doors for [illegal aliens] and foster cooperation between them and police.” The claim that sanctuary policies foster cooperation between the immigrant communities and local police, while widely claimed, has never been empirically proven. However, the opposite claim has been refuted by local police departments, including the Prince William County (Virginia) Police Department as well as a recent study by FAIR.
Indeed, Orlando’s doors are now open to illegal aliens who will soon rush en masse to the city and escalate the culture of crime and lawlessness that pervade other sanctuary cities like those in California. Bererra concluded by saying “their [illegal aliens] voices will be heard”, but what about the voices of Orlando’s law-abiding citizens? Will their voices be heard, too?