Monday, September 21, 2020

Coalition in Florida Fights Back Against Efforts to Pass AZ-style Legislation

State lawmakers, church leaders, and immigrant activists have banded together in Florida to combat efforts to pass an Arizona-like immigration law in their state.

The Florida Immigrant Coalition, which includes legislators from both political parties, held a telephone conference with media on Monday to denounce such legislation in their state it says could lead to racial profiling, violate civil liberties of legal citizens and undocumented residents.   An economy dependent on immigrant labor could also suffer.

“Arizona’s motive and the reason behind their actions is that they have a border security issue,” Rep. Juan Carlos Zapata, R-Miami and chair of the Florida Hispanic Legislative Caucus, said. “It’s important to differentiate between border security and an immigration issue.”

A bill similar to Arizona’s was introduced earlier this month by Florida Attorney General and Republican governor candidate Bill McCollum and Rep. Bill Snyder, R-Stuart.  The two have been accused by critics of exploiting the issue during an election year in order to gain support from voters.

“In a political year, policy and politics are getting confused, and I think this may be the case here,” Rep. Esteban Bovo Jr., R-Hialeah, said during a telephone conference with media the day before the state’s primary elections.

During the conference, the coalition said it does not think Florida needs a law like the one in Arizona since it does not have the same border security and drug violence issues Arizona faces.

“This law is not just going to affect people who are not documented, it’s going to affect a wide range of people in Florida who have every right and every reason to be here,” Mike Pheneger, chairman of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, said. Pheneger stated the Florida ACLU would consider immediate legal action against the bill if it passes.

Palm Beach Post

Comments

  1. Good! This is what we need! We will not stand by and take this hateful and targeted treatment. I encourage everyone to go to the polls today and make their voices heard.