[UPDATE] Crowds Swarm Florida Capitol Over Immigration Reform Bill

By: Eyewitness News; AP Email
By: Eyewitness News; AP Email

[UPDATE] 4-14-2011 11:55am - TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) --

Business groups say state legislation designed to curtail illegal immigration would hurt Florida's tourism and agriculture industries while reducing tax revenues.

That argument, though, failed to sway a House committee that
approved the Republican-sponsored bill (HB 7089) Thursday on a
largely party line 11-7 roll call.

Supporters said that measure that would make illegal immigration
a state crime is needed because the federal government has failed
to control the nation's borders.

The Florida Chamber of Commerce, Associated Industries of
Florida and Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association had denounced
the House bill and a similar measure that's moving in the Senate.

Chamber Vice President Adam Babington told the Economic Affairs
Committee that the legislation would tarnish Florida's image
internationally and scare away tourists from Latin America and the
Caribbean.

___________________________________________

[UPDATE] 4-13-2011 at 10:50 By Candace Sweat

A vote was not taken on Senate Bill 2040 at the Senate Budget Committee Meeting on Wednesday.

But that didn't stop several dozen people from marching up to see Senator Haridoplis, a supporter of the bill. And when they were told he wasn't there, they stayed anyway, and prayed.

They asked for God's help in the fight against immigration reform legislation. SB 2040 would allow law enforcement to stop people and ask for proof of their immigration status. It's a law that these people say gives authorities the green light on racial profiling.

"Immigration reform is desperately needed. However, it is not the position of the state to interfere in programs that are really where the federal government ought to step in," said Andrea Ortega with the We Are Florida Campaign.

There was standing room only in the chambers today as the senate discussed several bills, from workers' unions to medicaid. But more than 100 immigrants and their supporters made it very clear why they were there; immigration reform.

And for those who say the people in groups like this should do it the right way and become legal citizens, Andrea Ortega says it's not that simple.

"If there was a line that we could all get into, trust me we would get in that line and we would do it the way we could. But the immigration laws are extremely complex. Getting here is just not that easy," said Ortega.

Eyewitness News has attempted on more than one occasion to get in touch with the bill's sponsor, Senator Anitere Flores, but we have not heard back from her.

As for Senate President Mike Haridopolis, his aid says he will probably not be commenting on the issue until a vote comes through.
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[UPDATE] 4-13 3:00pm -

The room was packed as SB 2040 was postponed. A vote was not taken today, however, Senator Alexander did allow testimony from the group opposing the measure. The bill could be taken up again sometime this week.

Picture is attached above.

___________________________________________

UPDATED 4/11/2011 By Candace Sweat

Azucena Pineea says she came to the United States 15 years ago for opportunity and never left. But Senate Bill 2040 could change the life she says she's worked hard to build.

"I came here to have a better family, to live a better life, and to have a better place to live that's more safe and secure," said Pineea

That's why this crowd gathered in front of the capitol Monday afternoon for a vigil. Many of them are familiar with Pineea's story.

Senate Bill 2040 would allow authorities to stop people at any given time and ask for proof of their legal immigration status. It's a bill that Michele Rudy says is simply a free pass for law enforcement to practice racial profiling.

"How do you tell? How are you gonna tell if someone is undocumented or not? So that means they'll looking for people based on the color of their skin to stop them and ask them," said Michele Rudy with the "We Are Florida Campaign"

The bill is expected to come up on the agenda at the Senate Budget Committee hearing on Wednesday (4-13) where a vote is expected to take place on whether to move the bill to the floor.

Rudy says she agrees that immigration reform is needed, she says this just isn't the way.

"A federal immigration reform so people can get right by the law and have a chance to be citizens. These kind of laws don't help us get towards that," said Rudy.

Eyewitness News did contact the sponsor of the bill, Senator Anitere Flores's office, as well as Senate President Mike Haridopolis, who also supports the bill. We have not yet heard back from them.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tallahassee, FL-
An Arizona-style Immigration bill continues moving forward through the legislature and concerned Floridians are calling on the community to participate in a daily vigil against the bill.
Just one week after SB 2040 passed the Judiciary Committee, the bill is set to be heard this coming Wednesday, April 13th, at the Senate Budget Committee meeting.
Dozens of people have gathered at the capitol Monday to hold a prayer vigil and protest the bill that would allow authorities to stop people and ask for proof of their immigration status.
The protesters are holding signs saying "Florida is the Sunshine State" not the "Show me your papers state."
The crowd plans to get together every day until the Senate budget hearing on Wednesday when the issued is expected to come up again.
Eyewitness News did contact the sponsor of the bill, Senator Anitere Flores's office, as well as Senate President Mike Haridopolis- who also supports the bill but have not yet heard back from them.


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  • by Victory!!!! on May 6, 2011 at 12:28 PM
    TO ALL OF THOSE WHO SPOKE WITH VENOM AGAINST,ILLEGAL,IMMIGRANTS AND SAID ALL THOSE HORRIBLE COMMENTS AM SO HAPPY TO SAY THAT NO MATTER HOW MUCH U ARGUE SAY THE CRUELEST THINGS, DISCRIMINATE US OOOPPSSS!!! SORRY THE BILL DID NOT PASS BECAUSE IT WAS A WEAK!!! weak!! BILL!!!! SO WE AIN'T GOING ANYWHERE!!!! IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT ITS YOUR PROBLEM NOT OURS!! SORRY FOLKS THE TRUTH HURTS LOL.
  • by Yesenia Location: Quincy on Apr 19, 2011 at 09:02 AM
    Hi My name is Yesenia currently reside in Quincy FL. I came into this country many years ago. My parents became a Permanent Resident and of course so did I. I am now officially a Us Citizen. This message is to all of those who disagree to have us Hispanics here in this country. To begin with all of this is just racial. So many racial comments..omg..Well I will start with the Jobs. First of all the reason why we might take the Jobs from yall as it has been commented about It is not that we take the Jobs away it's just easy and simple We are hard workers and we do the stuff right Just because some people are not legalized here does not mean that they are stupid in no kind of way. Yes some did go to school and some did not. The same like other american's. I see so many people that I know that they were born here an just waste their life's. I mean come on the reason why Illegals are here is just to make a better life not to steal nothing away from no one . And YES even though some are not illegal for your information they do pay taxes. They might not be able to report taxes but I guarantee you that they pay taxes on what ever they buy. They did not come to this country to have it easy,their is so many out their that work so hard even with 2 shifts to make their life's better. But see you guys don't see it that way. Trust me it it would be easy to get legalized they would do so.The only thing that illegals wants is to do it the right way. That way all these racial comments won't be said. Because that is what it is racism. Mexicans this and that. I don't understand why other races are not talked about. Yes some might have criminal back rounds and Yes I do agree for those not to be here. But do disagree for this hard working parents with kids that were born here to have that opportunity to be legalized and not have to be sent back to their country to do so. Because it is not fair for u.s kids to have to suffer for that. I'ts just NOT FAIR!!!!!
  • by Reagan Republican on Apr 17, 2011 at 02:48 PM
    What is ITIN short for? Who can apply? How does it differ from a Social Security number?
  • by Reagan Republican on Apr 15, 2011 at 12:24 PM
    in reply to In God We Trust: Once again, the problem is the word illegal. If you are legal then join us because we are all immigrants!! It is NOT DISCRIMINATION to ask you to follow the laws that were set forth by American citizens. Stop using the word "color" for your argument because that is laughable from my end. Yes, I will tell you to wait in line like other people who have and will gain citizenship to this country. You are sneaking around taking jobs and it is not right for the others that love this country. Sorry the truth hurts you but we must be fair to ALL immigrants not just the ones who "feel" like we should give them a better life because they made it here ILLEGALLY.
  • by JHBS Location: madville on Apr 15, 2011 at 08:53 AM
    You know I live across the road from a group of hipanics, and by group i mean about 25 of them stuffed into four 2 bedroom appts. Everyone of them drives almost brand new SUV's. By the way did I mention that these appartments are low income appts. that I'm sure I pay the rent on. about every 6 months a new baby gets brought home I'm sure on my dollar. And they dress better than I do.I work two jobs and couldn't afford the gas on one of their vehicles. Enough is enough. Something needs to be done. @in godwetrust, first of all if you're so educated maybe you should check your spelling of senator. there's a "t" in it not a "d" second when I first got out of high school i used to work in a factory with illegal immigrants. I did the same job that they did, and I can tell you first hand that they absolutely did not pay taxes. All of their money was straight pay, while part of my check went to Uncle Sam. Get it?
  • by Anonymous on Apr 15, 2011 at 06:05 AM
    @Reagan Republican I wasn't referring to you, I was pushing back on a liberal-bashing comment. FWIW I've lived in Fla. for 50 years, I *GREW UP* in the Shenandoah section of Miami (as in 8th Street), *AND* I also know Fla. Crackers (God, how I *know* them, I lived in Tate's Hell / Sopchoppy for a time). As for Rubio, yeh, whatever. ".."There are millions of people in America that (sic) hate our country, so why can't we just do a trade? We'll send you Sean Penn, Janeane Garofalo and Keith Olbermann, and you can send us people that actually love this country and want to help us build it." -- Marco Rubio, being gratuitously belligerent
  • by Reagan Republican on Apr 14, 2011 at 10:04 PM
    in reply to IN GOD WE TRUST: WHO DO YOU THINK DID THE WORK(COOK, CLEAN, ETC)IN THE PAST THAT YOU ARE MENTIONING IN YOUR COMMENT? WE AMERICANS DID THE WORK AND WE BUILT AN AWESOME COUNTRY THROUGH SWEAT AND TEARS OF ALL COLORS. WE ARE NOT AFRAID OR TOO LAZY TO WORK, BUT ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS ARE TAKING THE JOBS. YES, YOU ARE TAKING JOBS FROM AMERICANS!! WE ARE ALL A NATION OF LEGAL IMMIGRANTS AND THAT IS THE POINT THAT YOU ARE MISSING. YOU NEED TO WAIT IN LINE AND ABIDE BY THE LAWS OF AMERICA LIKE THE REST OF US AND BECOME LEGAL. YOU ARE SOOO ARROGANT AND HAVE SUCH A SENSE OF ENTITLEMENT TO SNEAK IN AMERICA AND MAKE DEMANDS THAT ARE IN CONTRAST TO OUR LAWS!! ALSO, DON'T YOU DARE BRING GOD INTO THIS TO HIDE BEHIND, BUT, I THINK YOU WERE ACTUALLY BEING SARCASTIC.
    • reply
      by INGODWETRUST on Apr 15, 2011 at 07:01 AM in reply to Reagan Republican
      REPLY TO REAGAN REPUBLICAN FIRST OF ALL I DONT HIDE BEHIND GOD,DON'T TELL ME NOT TO DARE...PLEASE..HE SEES EVERYTHING BUT PPL HERE ARE DISCRIMINATING AND YOU THINK THATS OK?AND AM NOT BEING SARCASTIC I'M A CRISTIAN TO HEART AND LIKE ON OF THE SENADORS SAID OR ONE OF THEM, SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE BUT THIS IS NOT THE RIGHT WAY, THERE NOT DOING IT THE RIGHT WAY..BECAUSE JUST LIKE YOU ALL WE HAVE WORK VERY HARD BECAUSE WE LOVE THIS COUNTRY AND WE COME TO HAVE A BETTER FUTURE?? HOW CAN WE ASK FOR A CHANCE IF THE GOVERMENT DOSENT WANT TO GIVE IT TO US??HOW TO WAIT IN LINE? IF WE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR MANY YEARS AND NOTHING HAS HAPPEN? WHO GIVES YOU THE POWER TO DISCRIMINATE JUST BECAUSE OF OUR COLOR?? OR HOW WE LOOK? NOBODY HAS THE POWER TO DISCRIMINATE, NOBODY!!!! DO SOMETHING DO IT THE RIGHT WAY..THIS PROBLEMS HAS BEING GOING ON FOR MANY YEARS..THEY HAVE TO DO SOMETHING. BECAUSE THEY HAVE BEEN HERE FOR MANY YEARS TOO, MANY MANY YEARS..BUT WE CAN NOT GO POINTING FINGERS JUST BY THE WAY WE LOOK.GET IT?
      • reply
        by Not Discrimination on Apr 15, 2011 at 09:11 AM in reply to INGODWETRUST
        It is NOT discrimination to require EVERYONE to follow the laws we have in this country. It has NOTHING to do with skin color or native language. We welcome immigrants in this country. We do not welcome ILLEGAL immigrants that disrespect our laws and disrespect the legal immigrants who follow our laws. If you feel so persecuted, feel free to leave before you get deported.
      • reply
        by anonymous on Apr 16, 2011 at 09:46 PM in reply to INGODWETRUST
        if you are a CHRISTIAN then why don't you know how to spell the word?
  • by OPS on Apr 14, 2011 at 07:46 PM
    I paid $180.00 for a blood test a while back and watched a Hispanic lady with 4 kids pay for her infants test with a Government card. I was not upset until I got in my 1977 Honda (with no a/c in August) and she got in a Cadillac Escalade. She also could not speak English. I am a State Employee with no benefits, no insurance, no retirement and chronically ill. Just sayin...
  • by Joel Wischkaemper on Apr 14, 2011 at 07:15 PM
    I am betting a bundle the people of the Florida are astonished at the number of illegal aliens in in Tallahassee, but don't be... most of them didn't come. Per the comments of the business groups: no.. the sky is NOT falling.
  • by INGODWETRUST Location: Clearwater on Apr 14, 2011 at 06:52 PM
    To all those ppl who says they ARE ILEGALS AND THAT WANT THE LAW TO PASS..HAVE U EVER THOUGHT WHO COOKS YOUR FOOD IN A FAST FOOD RESTAURANT?HO CLEANS YOUR HOTEL ROOM??THE FUIT YOU EAT? WHO PICKS IT OUT?? WHO CLEANS THE BATHROOMS AT THE MALL?YES..YES ALL THOSE PPL U ARE CALLING ILLEGAL COME HERE FOR A BETTER LIFE..HOW ARE U TO CALL PPL ILLEGAL??THIS IS A NATION OF IMMIGRANTS THATS WHY IS A POWERFUL NATION WE ALL MADE IT THAT WAY..EVERYBODY!!!..PPL FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD COME HERE.WHO ARE YOU TO JUDGE? AND TO HATE LIKE THAT..THATS WRONG!! THOSE PPL PAY TAXES,DONT GET BENEFITS LIKE MEDICARE..WHILE MANY AMERICANS ARE UNEMPLOYED THERE DOING ANY KIND A JOB TO GET MONEY..SOME TALK ABOUT GANGS..DRUGS.. ARE ONLY ILEGALS THE ONES THAT DO THAT?? NO!!!! AND U ALL KNOW THAT DONT BE BLIND!!!THEY PAX TAXES THEY DO THE JOB THAT SOME PPL DONT WANT TO DO.SOME LATINOS CITIZENS ARE AS EDUCATED AS ANY SENADOR OR ANY OF YOU ALL WITH A MASTERS OR BACHELORS DEGREE..WE COME HERE TO MAKE OUR DREAMS COME TRUE BY WORKING HARD SORRY IT THAT BOTHERS YOU ALL THAT OUT RUDE OR UGLY COMMENTS..WE KNOW BETTER.GOD BLESS U ALL!
    • reply
      by Steve on Apr 15, 2011 at 09:15 AM in reply to INGODWETRUST
      Yes, we have thought about who cooks the food in fast food restaurants and who cleans the hotel rooms. That is why we want illegals out. We want legal people doing those things. I have no problem with LEGAL immigrants but the ILLEGAL ones need to leave.
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