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Immigration News

Florida Legislature May Never Pass Arizona-Style Immigration Law

Though Florida Gov. Rick Scott made a campaign promise to bring Arizona-style immigration reform to his state, Florida businesses, police chiefs, and Hispanic Republicans are expressing concerns on the bill.

A major part of Arizona’s immigration bill that many are taking issue with is the requirement that local police are to determine a person’s immigration status during a routine traffic stop if the officer has “reasonable suspicion” to believe the person is in the country illegally.

Republican Senator Mike Bennett, the bill’s chief Senate sponsor, believes “there will probably not be an Arizona-immigration style bill that passes the Florida Senate,” and adds that the bill could lead to ethnic or racial profiling, despite the bill explicitly banning discrimination, which he thinks may not be enough.

“I might not even vote for it myself, “ confessed Bennett who said he only presented the Arizona-copy to “start a the conversation” on the matter.

However, Bennett and other lawmakers are in agreement that state officials and private employers should be allowed to check the immigration status of any prospective employee by means of E-Verify, a federal government system, but there are still problems with E-Verify that they say need to be addressed.

With 10 members of the Florida Legislature being Hispanic, discrimination is a major concern, especially considering Hispanics are the fastest growing group of voters in the state.