Protesters Claim "We Are Florida" While Senate Passes Immigration Bill

By: Mike Vasilinda Email
By: Mike Vasilinda Email

Dozens of immigration protesters were ordered out of the Florida Capitol Wednesday 5-4 after they broke into song when legislation they dislike cleared the state Senate. Even with the passage of a watered down version in the Senate, the legislation's future is very uncertain in the House.

With little explanation,

"Requires statewide career centers to use e-verify."

And absolutely no debate, controversial immigration legislation cleared the senate. Protesters broke into song. When they would not be quiet, the sergeant at arms ordered them removed from the building.

"They're kicking the people out of the state. What's worse than that? You can kick us out of the capitol, it doesn't matter. But you're going to kick everybody out of the state?"

Outside the protesters consoled each other.

The removal raised thorny legal issues. Organizer Maria Rodriguez says protesters wanted to go back inside to try and keep the legislation from coming up in the state house.

"Whether it be through these walls or inside, we want to make sure that they know that this is a costly, non-solution."

"Because the immigration protesters are not an identifiable group and they change everyday, they will be allowed back inside the Capitol, but they will not be allowed anywhere near the state Senate chambers."

While immigrant coalition members lobby the house, time and procedure are on their side. The legislature goes home Friday night.

"Take them out of the building. We've asked them not to."

As uniformed police escorted protesters onto elevators, Daniel Barajas told us getting kicked out of the capitol was a small price to pay for what lies ahead.


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