United States District Court, S.D. Florida
BLOOM, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
CAUSE is before the Court on
Plaintiffs' Amended Motion for Preliminary Injunction
and Request for Hearing. ECF No.  (“Amended
Motion”). Defendants filed a Response in Opposition to the
Motion, ECF No.  (“Response”), to which
Plaintiffs replied, ECF No.  (“Reply”).
Defendants were also permitted to file a Surreply in
Opposition, ECF No.  (“Surreply”), in order
to respond to Plaintiffs' Amended Complaint, ECF No. 
(“Amended Complaint”), which added one additional
Plaintiff. The United States of America filed a Statement of
Interest, ECF No. , to which Plaintiffs responded, ECF
No.  (“SOI Response”). Amici curiae
were permitted to file an amicus brief in support of
Plaintiffs, ECF No.  (âAmicus Briefâ). The instant
Amended Motion requests that the Court grant a preliminary
injunction enjoining Defendants from enforcing Chapter 908 of
the Florida Statutes because the law is preempted by federal
immigration law and is unconstitutionally vague. The Court
has carefully considered the Amended Motion, all opposing and
supporting submissions, the parties' arguments presented
at the Hearing, the record in this case, and the applicable
law, and is otherwise fully advised. For the reasons set
forth below, Plaintiffs' Amended Motion is granted in
part and denied in part.
2, 2019, the Florida legislature passed Senate Bill 168
(“SB 168”), which aimed to further the State of
Florida's interest in “cooperat[ing] and
assist[ing] the federal government in the enforcement of
federal immigration laws within this state.” Fla. Stat.
§ 908.101 (2019); ECF No. [5-1] at 2. The law was
adapted from a model law originally drafted by organizations
designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center to be hate
groups, based on their anti-immigrant platforms. ECF No. 
at 26. Moreover, SB 168 was described by its sponsors as an
“anti-sanctuary cities law.” Id. at 26,
27. On June 14, 2019, Governor DeSantis signed SB 168 into
law, and it was enacted as Chapter 908 of the Florida
Statutes. See Fla. Stat. ch. 908; ECF No. [5-1] at
7. Among other things, SB 168 prohibits so-called
“sanctuary policies” that indicate certain
jurisdictions' intent not to cooperate with Immigration
and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”). ECF No.  at
4. The law delineates specific immigration enforcement
efforts with which local jurisdictions must comply. These
include complying with immigration detainers and transporting
aliens to federal facilities. Id. at 4-5;
see Fla. Stat. § 908.105; Fla. Stat. §
908.104(4). Furthermore, under SB 168, the Attorney General
and the Governor are vested with enforcement authority to
seek injunctive relief or to exercise the Governor's
suspension power, should a government official fail to comply
with the law's mandates. Fla. Stat. § 908.107. This
enforcement provision is scheduled to take effect on October
1, 2019. ECF No.  at 5.
instant action challenges the constitutionality of numerous
provisions of SB 168 and seeks injunctive and declaratory
relief to prevent the law from taking effect. ECF No.  at
Relevant SB 168 Provisions
provisions of SB 168 that are being challenged are reproduced
in full below. Any supplemental provisions that are relevant
to the Court's analysis are also set forth below.
sets forth the definition of certain terms used in the
statute in § 908.102. Plaintiffs Amended Complaint
specifically challenges § 908.102(6)'s definition of
“sanctuary policy” (“Sanctuary
Definition”). Nevertheless, many of the other
definitions in this section are relevant to the Court's
used in this chapter, the term:
(1) “Federal immigration agency” means the United
States Department of Justice and the United States Department
of Homeland Security, a division within such an agency,
including United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement
and United States Customs and Border Protection, any
successor agency, and any other federal agency charged with
the enforcement of immigration law.
(2) “Immigration detainer” means a facially
sufficient written or electronic request issued by a federal
immigration agency using that agency's official form to
request that another law enforcement agency detain a person
based on probable cause to believe that the person to be
detained is a removable alien under federal immigration law,
including detainers issued pursuant to 8 U.S.C. ss. 1226 and
1357 along with a warrant described in paragraph (c). For
purposes of this subsection, an immigration detainer is
deemed facially sufficient if:
(a) The federal immigration agency's official form is
complete and indicates on its face that the federal
immigration official has probable cause to believe that the
person to be detained is a removable alien under federal
immigration law; or
(b) The federal immigration agency's official form is
incomplete and fails to indicate on its face that the federal
immigration official has probable cause to believe that the
person to be detained is a removable alien under federal
immigration law, but is supported by an affidavit, order, or
other official documentation that indicates that the federal
immigration agency has probable cause to believe that the
person to be detained is a removable alien under federal
immigration law; and
(c) The federal immigration agency supplies with its
detention request a Form I-200 Warrant for Arrest of Alien or
a Form I-205 Warrant of Removal/Deportation or a successor
warrant or other warrant authorized by federal law.
(3) “Inmate” means a person in the custody of a
law enforcement agency.
(4) “Law enforcement agency” means an agency in
this state charged with enforcement of state, county,
municipal, or federal laws or with managing custody of
detained persons in this state and includes municipal police
departments, sheriffs' offices, state police departments,
state university and college police departments, county
correctional agencies, and the Department of Corrections.
(5) “Local governmental entity” means any county,
municipality, or other political subdivision of this state.
(6) “Sanctuary policy” means a law, policy,
practice, procedure, or custom adopted or allowed by a state
entity or local governmental entity which prohibits or
impedes a law enforcement agency from complying with 8 U.S.C.
s. 1373 or which prohibits or impedes a law enforcement
agency from communicating or cooperating with a federal
immigration agency so as to limit such law enforcement agency
in, or prohibit the agency from:
(a) Complying with an immigration detainer;
(b) Complying with a request from a federal immigration
agency to notify the agency before the release of an inmate
or detainee in the custody of the law enforcement agency;
(c) Providing a federal immigration agency access to an
inmate for interview;
(d) Participating in any program or agreement authorized
under s. 287 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C.
s. 1357; or
(e) Providing a federal immigration agency with an
inmate's incarceration status or release date.
(7) “State entity” means the state or any office,
board, bureau, commission, department, branch, division, or
institution thereof, including institutions within the State
University System and the Florida College System.
Fla. Stat. § 908.102.
on § 908.102(6)'s Sanctuary Definition, §
908.103 states, “Sanctuary policies prohibited.-A state
entity, law enforcement agency, or local governmental entity
may not adopt or have in effect a sanctuary policy.”
Fla. Stat. § 908.103 (“Sanctuary
requirement that state and local law enforcement entities and
agencies cooperate with federal immigration enforcement
efforts, § 908.104, states:
Cooperation with federal immigration authorities.-
(1) A law enforcement agency shall use best efforts to
support the enforcement of federal immigration law. This
subsection applies to an official, representative, agent, or
employee of the entity or agency only when he or she is
acting within the scope of his or her official duties or
within the scope of his or her employment.
(2) Except as otherwise expressly prohibited by federal law,
a state entity, local governmental entity, or law enforcement
agency, or an employee, an agent, or a representative of the
entity or agency, may not prohibit or in any way restrict a
law enforcement agency from taking any of the following
actions with respect to information regarding a person's
(a) Sending the information to or requesting, receiving, or
reviewing the information from a federal immigration agency
for purposes of this chapter.
(b) Recording and maintaining the information for purposes of
(c) Exchanging the information with a federal immigration
agency or another state entity, local governmental entity, or
law enforcement agency for purposes of this chapter.
(d) Using the information to comply with an immigration
(e) Using the information to confirm the identity of a person
who is detained by a law enforcement agency.
(3)(a) For purposes of this subsection, the term
“applicable criminal case” means a criminal case
1. The judgment requires the defendant to be confined in a
secure correctional facility; and
2. The judge:
a. Indicates in the record under s. 908.105 that the
defendant is subject to an immigration detainer; or
b. Otherwise indicates in the record that the defendant is
subject to a transfer into federal custody.
(b) In an applicable criminal case, when the judge sentences
a defendant who is the subject of an immigration detainer to
confinement, the judge shall issue an order requiring the
secure correctional facility in which the defendant is to be
confined to reduce the defendant's sentence by a period
of not more than 12 days on the facility's determination
that the reduction in sentence will facilitate the seamless
transfer of the defendant into federal custody. For purposes
of this paragraph, the term “secure correctional
facility” means a state correctional institution as
defined in s. 944.02 or a county detention facility or a
municipal detention facility as defined in s. 951.23.
(c) If the information specified in sub-subparagraph (a)2.a.
or sub-subparagraph (a)2.b. is not available at the time the
sentence is pronounced in the case, but is received by a law
enforcement agency afterwards, the law enforcement agency
shall notify the judge who shall issue the order described by
paragraph (b) as soon as the information becomes available.
(4) When a county correctional facility or the Department of
Corrections receives verification from a federal immigration
agency that a person subject to an immigration detainer is in
the law enforcement agency's custody, the agency may
securely transport the person to a federal facility in this
state or to another point of transfer to federal custody
outside the jurisdiction of the law enforcement agency. The
law enforcement agency may transfer a person who is subject
to an immigration detainer and is confined in a secure
correctional facility to the custody of a federal immigration
agency not earlier than 12 days before his or her release
date. A law enforcement agency shall obtain judicial
authorization before securely transporting an alien to a
point of transfer outside of this state.
(5) This section does not require a state entity, local
governmental entity, or law enforcement agency to provide a
federal immigration agency with information related to a
victim of or a witness to a criminal offense if the victim or
witness timely and in good faith responds to the entity's
or agency's request for information and cooperation in
the investigation or prosecution of the offense.
(6) A state entity, local governmental entity, or law
enforcement agency that, pursuant to subsection (5),
withholds information regarding the immigration information
of a victim of or witness to a criminal offense shall
document the victim's or witness's cooperation in the
entity's or agency's investigative records related to
the offense and shall retain the records for at least 10
years for the purpose of audit, verification, or inspection
by the Auditor General.
(7) This section does not authorize a law enforcement agency
to detain an alien unlawfully present in the United States
pursuant to an immigration detainer solely because the alien
witnessed or reported a crime or was a victim of a criminal
(8) This section does not apply to any alien unlawfully
present in the United States if he or she is or has been a
necessary witness or victim of a crime of domestic violence,
rape, sexual exploitation, sexual assault, murder,
manslaughter, assault, battery, human trafficking,
kidnapping, false imprisonment, involuntary servitude, fraud
in foreign labor contracting, blackmail, extortion, or
Fla. Stat. § 908.104.
908.105 mandates that state and local law enforcement
agencies comply with immigration detainers received by
federal immigration authorities (“Detainer
related to immigration detainers.-
(1) A law enforcement agency that has custody of a person
subject to an immigration detainer issued by a federal
immigration agency shall:
(a) Provide to the judge authorized to grant or deny the
person's release on bail under chapter 903 notice that
the person is subject to an immigration detainer.
(b) Record in the person's case file that the person is
subject to an immigration detainer.
(c) Upon determining that the immigration detainer is in
accordance with s. 908.102(2), comply with the requests made
in the immigration detainer.
(2) A law enforcement agency is not required to perform a
duty imposed by paragraph (1)(a) or paragraph (1)(b) with
respect to a person who is transferred to the custody of the
agency by another law enforcement agency if the transferring
agency performed that duty before the transfer.
(3) A judge who receives notice that a person is subject to
an immigration detainer shall cause the fact to be recorded
in the court record, regardless of whether the notice is
received before or after a judgment in the case.
Fla. Stat. § 908.105.
§ 908.106 requires county correctional facilities to
enter into agreements with the federal government for the
reimbursement of costs incurred pursuant to honoring
immigration detainer requests (“Cost
Reimbursement of costs.-Each county correctional facility
shall enter into an agreement or agreements with a federal
immigration agency for temporarily housing persons who are
the subject of immigration detainers and for the payment of
the costs of housing and detaining those persons. A compliant
agreement may include any contract between a correctional
facility and a federal immigration agency for housing or
detaining persons subject to immigration detainers, such as
basic ordering agreements in effect on or after July 1, 2019,
agreements authorized by s. 287 of the Immigration and
Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. s. 1357, or successor agreements
and other similar agreements authorized by federal law.
Fla. Stat. § 908.106.
in the event that state and local officers fail to comply
with the immigration enforcement efforts specified in SB 168,
§ 908.107 sets forth the Governor and the Attorney
General's ability to enforce Chapter 908.
(1) Any executive or administrative state, county, or
municipal officer who violates his or her duties under this
chapter may be subject to action by the Governor in the
exercise of his or her authority under the State Constitution
and state law. Pursuant to s. 1(b), Art. IV of the State
Constitution, the Governor may initiate judicial proceedings
in the name of the state against such officers to enforce
compliance with any duty under this chapter or restrain any
unauthorized act contrary to this chapter.
(2) In addition, the Attorney General may file suit against a
local governmental entity or local law enforcement agency in
a court of competent jurisdiction for declaratory or
injunctive relief for a violation of this chapter.
(3) If a local governmental entity or local law enforcement
agency violates this chapter, the court must enjoin the
unlawful sanctuary policy. The court has continuing
jurisdiction over the parties and subject matter and may
enforce its orders with the initiation of contempt
proceedings as provided by law.
(4) An order approving a consent decree or granting an
injunction must include written findings of fact that
describe with specificity the existence and nature of the
sanctuary policy that violates this chapter.
Fla. Stat. Â§ 908.107.
the enactment of SB 168, on July 16, 2019, Plaintiffs
initiated this action against Defendants, ECF No. 
(“Complaint”), and filed their original Motion
for Preliminary Injunction, ECF No. , and accompanying
memorandum of law, ECF No. [5-1]. Specifically, Plaintiffs
sought declaratory and injunctive relief, arguing that SB
168's Detainer Mandate, Transport Requirement, and Cost
Reimbursement provisions are preempted by federal law, and
that the “Best Efforts” provision and the
Sanctuary Provisions are unconstitutionally vague.
August 21, 2019, Plaintiffs amended their Complaint to
include Mayor Stoddard as a Plaintiff and added two counts
relating to Mayor Stoddard's claims. ECF No. ; ECF
No. . The Amended Complaint asserts the following eleven
counts on behalf of the different Plaintiffs: Count I -
§ 908.105's Detainer Mandate violates the Supremacy
Clause, U.S. Const. art. VI, § 2; Count II - §
908.104(4)'s Transport Requirement violates the Supremacy
Clause; Count III - § 908.160's Cost Reimbursement
violates the Supremacy Clause; Counts IV, V, and VI - §
908.102(6)'s and § 908.103's Sanctuary
Provisions violate the Due Process Clause; Counts VII, VIII,
and IX - § 908.104(1)'s “Best Efforts”
provision violates the Due Process Clause; Count X - §
908.104(1)'s “Best Efforts” provision
violates the Equal Protection Clause; and Count XI - §
908.103's Sanctuary Prohibition violates the Equal
Protection Clause. Id.
August 30, 2019, Plaintiffs amended their Motion for
Preliminary Injunction to include additional arguments with
regard to Mayor Stoddard's claims. ECF No. .
Plaintiffs' Amended Motion incorporated the arguments
previously asserted in their Memorandum of Law attached to
their original Motion, ECF No. [5-1], and their Reply, ECF
No. . Defendants filed their Response, ECF No. , and
Surreply, ECF No. ,  in opposition to the imposition of a
Court held a hearing on September 26, 2019,
(“Hearing”), which was attended by
Plaintiffs' counsel, Defendants' counsel, and counsel
for the United States of America, who sought the Court's
leave to participate in the hearing, ECF No. ; see
also ECF No. . During the Hearing, Plaintiffs argued
in support of a preliminary injunction that SB 168's
challenged provisions are unconstitutional based on
preemption and vagueness. Defendants argued that Plaintiffs
lack standing and that a preliminary injunction is not
warranted as SB 168 is neither preempted by federal law nor
unconstitutionally vague. The United States of America
participated and argued that federal immigration law does not
preempt any of the challenged provisions of SB 168.
is a threshold question of “whether the litigant is
entitled to have the court decide the merits of the dispute
or of particular issues.” Sims v. Fla. Dep't of
Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles, 862 F.2d
1449, 1458 (11th Cir. 1989) (en banc). “[S]tanding
requirements ‘are not mere pleading requirements but
rather [are] an indispensable part of the plaintiff's
case.'” Church v. City of Huntsville, 30
F.3d 1332, 1336 (11th Cir. 1994) (quoting Lujan v.
Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 561
(1992)). “To establish standing, a plaintiff must have
‘suffered an injury-in-fact that would be corrected by
[a] favorable decision in the lawsuit.'”
Church, 30 F.3d at 1335 (quoting Cheffer v.
McGregor, 6 F.3d 705, 708 (11th Cir. 1993)).
[A]t an irreducible minimum, Art. III requires the party who
invokes the court's authority to “show that he
personally has suffered some actual or threatened injury as a
result of the putatively illegal conduct of the defendant,
” and that the injury “fairly can be traced to
the challenged action” and “is likely to be
redressed by a favorable decision.”
Valley Forge Christian Coll. v. Americans United for
Separation of Church and State, 454 U.S. 464, 472 (1982)
(quoting Gladstone, Realtors v. Vill. of Bellwood,