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Latino Daily News

Friday December 3, 2010

Florida Lawmaker Seeks Hispanic Support for Arizona-style Immigration Bill

State Rep. Will Snyder (R), is attempting to gain support from Florida’s Hispanic community, which is predominantly Cuban,  in order to get an Arizona-style immigration bill passed in the state. Snyder also claims that he’s hoping to quell the community’s fears on such bill.

Snyder’s bill, much like Arizona’s SB 1070, would call for police (during a lawful stop) to check the status of immigrants suspected of being undocumented, require businesses to use a federal database to check the immigration status of new hires, and under the new law, undocumented immigrants would be subject to more harsh punishment than legal immigrants for committing crimes.

Though Snyder’s bill has not been filed Senator Mike Bennett has filed a similar proposal, and says he already believes he has the support of the state’s Cuban community. Bennett stated that the goal of his bill is to deal with the “criminal element” of undocumented immigration that tends to lead to gang violence and drug trafficking.

Referring to the support he is expecting from the Cuban population in the state, Bennett said, “Most of them are in agreement because their families are in agreement and they went to get rid of the bad element.”

Attorney General-elect Pam Bondi said he will only support Snyder’s bill if substantial changes are made to avoid the risk of racial profiling. Bondi sites the backlash in Arizona as the perfect example of why worries of immigrant rights violations in the Hispanic community should be addressed prior to the passage of such a law.

Republican Gov.-elect Rick Scott has already said he will give the bill his support.