Florida Rep. Jose Diaz-Balart, a Republican who is running for governor, wants a new probe of the Florida state budget’s impact on the federal government’s ability to enforce immigration law.
Diaz-Balarts office released a statement Friday saying the Republican congressman “strongly believes” in the need for a full investigation into the state budget.
The budget has “piggedbacks” on immigration law, Diaz-Bart told CNN.
“The budget is not an immigration law enforcement law, but an enforcement budget,” he said.
“That’s a matter of fact.”
Diaz’s office also pointed to a 2016 report by the Government Accountability Office that said the Florida budget “has been an engine for the expansion of immigration enforcement.”
The Florida budget contains $1.2 billion in cuts, including $1 billion in funding to expand the state’s Immigrant Youth Task Force.
Dizson-Balarte also pushed back on the notion that the state is a sanctuary state.
He said “there are some issues of concern” about the budget, but he added that “if you are going to take a look at that, you are looking at a budget that is not really the most equitable.”
The U.S. Department of Justice has been scrutinizing the state and local budget for more than a decade, including a 2016 probe into a bill that would have created a statewide sanctuary law.
Determining whether a sanctuary city or county is a place of sanctuary could prove tricky.