Richard Corcoran has proved he isn’t playing around when it comes to sanctuary cities in the Legislature, but now he’s out with an explosive new ad to prove just why he thinks the refuges for undocumented immigrants are dangerous to Floridians.
On Monday, Corcoran’s Watchdog PAC released a chilling ad depicting what Corcoran says are the consequences of sanctuary city policies.
The ad is considered to be a sneak preview to Corcoran’s potential gubernatorial campaign, which has not yet been announced.
The 30-second clip opens up with a smiling young woman reading messages on her phone, but the happiness is short-lived -- soon after, the woman is gunned down by a hooded man.
“A young woman gunned down by an illegal immigrant who should have been deported, but was protected by a sanctuary city,” Corcoran says in a voiceover.
Corcoran then recalls the case of Kate Steinle, a San Francisco woman who was shot and killed by an undocumented immigrant and seven-time felon in 2015.
Steinle’s death became the catalyst for a national conversation on illegal immigration and sanctuary cities, which protect undocumented immigrants from deportation.
San Francisco has been a sanctuary city since 1989.
“When I heard Kate Steinle’s story, I thought about my own daughter, Kate,” Corcoran said. “This could have happened to any family, anywhere.”
Corcoran has led the charge against sanctuary city policies in the Florida House, which recently passed legislation banning Florida communities from acting as safe havens for undocumented immigrants.
HB 9, sponsored by Rep. Larry Metz, R-Yahala, would prohibit Florida communities from acting as “sanctuary cities” for undocumented immigrants. Law enforcement agencies and local government entities would also be prohibited from adopting sanctuary policies.
Fines for city council members who violate the ban or refuse to comply with federal immigration policies could climb up to $5,000.
Local officials who refuse to work with federal authorities could be removed from their jobs if the bill becomes law.
The issue of sanctuary cities has become a hot button topic in Florida’s gubernatorial race. Although the proposed ban has gathered widespread support among House members and conservatives, Democrats have been quick to express their disapproval of the concept.
Tallahassee Mayor and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum accused Corcoran of “race baiting” in the ad, calling the clip “everything that’s wrong with politics today.”
“In the age of Trump, Corcoran is vilifying immigrants. It's a vile ad that seeks to divide us against one another, and the Speaker ought to be ashamed of himself,” Gillum said.
Corcoran seemed to point at least part of his ad at Gillum, who has been criticized by other Republican gubernatorial candidates like Adam Putnam of wanting to make Florida a “sanctuary state.”
Gillum has never specifically said he wants to make Florida a sanctuary state.
“Incredibly, some Tallahassee politicians want to make Florida a sanctuary state. On my watch, Florida will never be a sanctuary state,” Corcoran says in the ad.
Corcoran hasn’t officially filed paperwork to run for governor just yet, but if Monday’s ad is any indicator, it might not be long before he jumps in the race.
View the ad below: