Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Anti-Immigrant Bill by Florida Republican May Exempt White Europeans

A clause in the draft of an anti-immigrant bill by Republican state Rep. William Snyder in Florida essentially tells police to drop their “reasonable suspicions” of anyone they stop who is from any of the countries exempted under the bill, mostly European nations with a majority of white people.

The law specifically says that a person will be “presumed to be legally in the United States” if he or she provides “a Canadian passport” or a passport from any “visa waiver country.”  The 32 nations qualified as visa waiver countries are all in Western Europe, from France to Germany to Luxembourg with the exception of four Asian countries.

The language has many saying this is clearly racial profiling.

“That language makes it clear that police are targeting only a specific minority,” Susana Barciela, policy director at the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center, said.

In a radio interview Snyder defended the language in his bill as “comfort language” necessary so as not to offend some sensitivities.

“What we’re doing there is trying to be sensitive to Canadians. We have an enormous amount of… Canadians wintering here in Florida,” he said. “That language is comfort language.”

Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott pledged last week to support the bill if elected.

Immigration Bill Draft

Miami New Times