Illegal Immigration Bill for Florida?

By: Troy Kinsey Email
By: Troy Kinsey Email

Tallahassee, FL - They've crossed over the border by the millions taking refuge in cities and towns all across America, but nowhere have illegal immigrants left a bigger mark than in Arizona. A state that now has a law devoted to questioning anybody suspected of being a non-citizen.

Here at home, Republican Senator Mike Bennett has now filed a bill that would bring an Arizona-style law to Florida. It's enough to concern Orlando native Anthony Fabre.

Fabre says, "You can't guarantee that someone is not going to be racially profiled because, for example, I was born in this country, he wasn't, but you would think that he was born here and I wasn't because of the way that I look. But, the truth is completely opposite."

Unlike in Arizona, the bill would only allow authorities to question suspected illegal immigrants if they've broken the law, but critics call it intrusive nonetheless, especially in a state where illegal immigration may not be that big of an issue.

After all, Florida is hundreds of miles away from the Mexican border, and most of our large Cuban population enjoys asylum, but, Florida political scientist Carol Weissert says Bennett's bill may be aimed at pleasing Republican voters, with an eye toward 2012.

Weissert says, "I think with the Hispanic population in Florida, it's a very complicated mix and not monolithic in any way, so even how it plays out with that base, so this may be a very smart political calculation - you're dealing with your base, and it's not an issue that's important to many other people."

That is, not yet.
The debate over illegal immigration has gone national, with Florida set to become the next battleground.

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