Florida Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried has announced that she’s breaking with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis after the anti-sanctuary cities bill cleared the Florida House.
In a statement released online, Fried expressed that “a new anti-immigrant bill is making its way through the Florida legislature and aims to outlaw sanctuary cities” in the state of Florida.
The issue has been a controversial topic, pitting Republicans and Democrats against each other since President Trump was elected in 2016. With this legislation, Fried asserts that “SB168 sends a harmful message to immigrants.”
The Agricultural Commissioner believes that the bill paints immigrants in a negative light, which could lead to troubling results.
Calling immigrants “a threat to this country’s safety or economy,” Fried says is “divisive rhetoric” that “is spin pushed by the President.”
She goes on to explain that “SB168 goes against every fundamental American value. It would create lasting damage to businesses and industries in this state and make law enforcement more difficult and demanding.”
Citing that “immigrants are an integral and necessary part of Florida’s past, present, and future,” Fried details that “twenty percent of Floridians are immigrants who pay $17 billion in federal and $6 billion in state taxes annually.” And, she also noted that “54% of Florida’s immigrants work in farming, fishing, or forestry, making up nearly half of the workforce in those industries.”
She noted the legislation “as injustice… being legalized,” but the state of Florida voted for President Trump in the 2016 Presidential election that saw him rally support against sanctuary cities. In addition, the 2018 midterm election saw the sunshine state voting for a Republican ticket that also fought to protect Florida from sanctuary cities with the exception of Nikki Fried. Regardless, the Agricultural Commissioner maintains that this legislation is not right for Florida in moving forward, and she intends to “fight for the rights of ALL Floridians” in arguing against the bill.