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Florida proposes “Arizona” style immigration laws

Attorney General Bill McCollum today joined Representative  William Snyder, other legislative leaders and law enforcement officials to  unveil proposed legislation aimed at curbing illegal immigration in the  State of Florida. The proposed legislation will require law enforcement  officers to check suspected illegal immigrants’ status in the course of a  lawful stop, require Florida businesses to use the E-Verify system to  ensure new hires are legally authorized to work, and enhance penalties for  illegal aliens who commit crimes in Florida.

“This legislation will provide new enforcement tools for protecting our  citizens and will help our state fight the ongoing problems created by  illegal immigration,” said Attorney General McCollum. “Florida will not be  a sanctuary state for illegal aliens.”

Like Arizona, the draft legislation requires aliens to carry immigration  documentation or face a misdemeanor carrying a sentence of up to 20 days  in jail for the first offense. The proposal also makes it a misdemeanor  for an illegal alien not authorized to work to seek employment in the  state of Florida.

Rep. William Snyder (R-Stuart), Chairman of the House Criminal and Civil  Justice Policy Council, drafted the bill with Attorney General McCollum.

“Floridians want to see their elected officials provide leadership to the  challenges of illegal aliens living our state,” said Chairman Snyder.

“This proposal is a significant step forward in confronting illegal  immigration.”

After parts of Arizona’s law were struck down in a federal court two weeks  ago, attorneys in the Attorney General’s Office reviewed the ruling and  made changes to the draft legislation to strengthen it against potential  constitutional challenges.

The proposal also goes one step further than Arizona’s law by giving  judges and law enforcement more tools in dealing with illegal immigrants  from bond through sentencing. Under the proposal, judges would be allowed  to specifically consider a defendant’s unlawful presence in the process of  setting his or her bond. The legislation also creates a sentencing  enhancement so that illegal aliens who commit crimes in the State of  Florida will face increased prison time. This provision is similar to the  gang statute that Attorney General McCollum and Rep. Snyder worked to pass  in 2008, which increases penalties for criminal gang members who commit  crimes in the furtherance of a gang.

Also in attendance at today’s announcement were Representative Sandy Adams  (R-Oviedo), Representative Stephen Precourt (R-Orlando), Representative  Eric Eisnaugle (R-Orlando) and Representative Scott Plakon (R-Longwood). A  copy of the draft legislation is available online at:$file/ImmigrationBillDraft.pdf

Rep. Plakon recently requested an official opinion from the Attorney  General’s Office, seeking clarification about Florida’s authority to  enforce federal criminal immigration laws. The Attorney General’s Office  today released an informal opinion to Rep. Plakon, advising him that  Florida law enforcement already have discretion to check the immigration  status when making an arrest and that state laws related to immigration  are not automatically preempted by federal law. A copy of the informal  opinion is available online at:$file/PlakonOpinion.pdf

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  5. SFWMD testifies in Washington on legislation banning non-native pythons

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Posted by Andrea Freygang on Aug 11 2010. Filed under Broward County, Business, Crime, Culture, Employment, International relations, Local news, National politics, Tallahassee. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

1 Comment for “Florida proposes “Arizona” style immigration laws”

  1. Valigator Parkhurst

    More and more business’s are signing up with E-verify..It only makes sense..and its “good business” I always ask if persons dispatched to my home or car have valid working papers. If not “dont send them” and I will call someone else..If the public does this enough times, Employers will get the message. In this dismal economic climate give your money to “Legal working citizens” one just might be a returning veteran..


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