(PresidentialWire.com)- Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was dealt a blow this week when a federal judge struck down parts of his state’s immigration enforcement law.
The law was one of DeSantis’ priorities. However, U.S. Judge Beth Bloom said the law was motivated by race.
On Tuesday, Bloom rejected some parts of the bill that put in place bans on local jurisdictions from enacting sanctuary policies. Some sections that were struck down also required law enforcement agencies on the local level to make “their best effort” to work with immigration enforcement agencies at the federal level.
The bill was originally signed back in 2019 by DeSantis, who said at the time that it was one of his administration’s priorities. Officials in his office said that the governor would appeal this latest court ruling.
In her ruling, Bloom wrote that parts of the law were motivated by race. She also said that supporters of the law couldn’t provide any evidence as to why the law was necessary to lower crime rates in Florida.
She further said that the sponsor of the bill was backed by hate groups that are against immigrants, including the Floridians for Immigration Enforcement group.
In her ruling, Bloom wrote:
“Allowing anti-immigrant hate groups that overtly promote xenophobic, nationalist, racist ideologies to be intimately involved in a bill’s legislative process is a significant departure from procedural norms. This involvement strongly suggests that the Legislature enacted SB 168 to promote and ratify the racist views of these advocacy groups.”
The bill was sponsored by state Senator Joe Gruters, who also serves as the state Republican Party’s chairman.
In backing up her decision, Bloom cited many communications that took place between members of Gruters’ staff and members of Floridians for Immigration Enforcement. She wrote:
“On many occasions during the 2019 legislative session, (Floridians for Immigration Enforcement’s ) racial animus and discriminatory intent were made apparent to Senator Gruters and his staff but were ignored.”
Following the ruling, Gruters hasn’t returned calls from the media to comment about this information.
When DeSantis signed the bill in 2019, he did it while making an appearance in the Panhandle region of Florida, which is very conservative leaning. It was even filled with fanfare that looked more like a campaign event than a bill signing.
On Wednesday, DeSantis’ office defended the bill. Taryn Fenske, the spokeswoman for DeSantis, said:
“Yet again, a federal trial court judge partially enjoins a plainly constitutional state statute. We disagree with the judge’s ruling and expect to win on appeal.”
Democrats as well as other advocates for immigration, meanwhile, very much supported the ruling.
State Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith, a Democrat, released a statement that said:
“Floridians deserve a legislature that prioritizes people over politics, not one that repeatedly squanders taxpayer money defending extreme legislation designed to bolster the Governor’s political ambitions. Florida has and will always be an immigrant state.”