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House committee passes Arizona-lite immigration bill

by Dara Kam | March 10th, 2011

A House committee approved a somewhat watered-down immigration bill that would allow law enforcement officials to demand proof of citizenship during an arrest or criminal investigation and require businesses to verify that employees are in the country legally.

Judiciary Committee Chairman William Snyder, R-Stuart, sponsored the bill (PCB JDC 11-01) included several concessions to business groups and others concerned that an Arizona-style measure, among other things, would scare off tourists.

Unlike Arizona’s law, police would not be allowed to request documentation during traffic stops but would be permitted to request papers during criminal investigations or arrests or if they have a “reasonable suspicion” someone may be engaging in criminal activity.

But the modifications of Snyder’s original proposal did not appease opponents.

“I’m not sure what the motivation is around immigrant scapegoating,” said Maria Rodriguez, executive director of the Florida Immigrant Coalition. This is not going to generate new economic activity in Florida. In fact it’s going to hurt us. Perception is reality. This bill is being seen as an attack on Latinos, as an attack on many of us.”

Business groups were disappointed with the requirement that they use E-Verify when hiring new workers to prove they are in the country legally because, they said, they could be legally liable if the system makes a mistake.

In his closing remarks, Snyder insisted the bill is the right thing to do for the 820,000 undocumented workers in Florida who “live in the shadows” and don’t have access to unemployment or workers’ compensation benefits.

And he rejected arguments that his proposal would harm farmers who rely on the workers for seasonal help.

“The question boils down to this. Do we as a state say that we can acquiesce, wink-wink, nod-nod, it’s against the law to be here but we need people to pick our tomatoes? That turns my stomach when I hear that argument. Who will pick our tomatoes. Who will mow our lawns. There was a period in American history and I won’t even call it out to hold an entire race off people in bondage and the argument was the same,” Snyder said.

The committee voted 12-6 along party lines in favor of the measure.

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9 Responses to “House committee passes Arizona-lite immigration bill”

  1. jaded Says:

    Wow, I am happy to see a Republican on the right track! Especially that last paragraph. Except it isn’t just tomatoes now, it is also construction jobs. Why don’t employers want e-verify again?

  2. Brittanicus Says:

    It’s a bit like poetic justice now that some lawmakers have seen the error in their ways, by pandering to the illegal alien assault. Suddenly these politicians realize they have left their States guard wide open, to unauthorized persons who are fleeing Arizona in large numbers. These people are absconding from stricter States and heading for what they hoped is an easy place to settle. Arizona thankfully began the first immigration laws, to police their State and now legislators around the country are following their example in one way or another. Now that Bill Richardson, the previous Governor of New Mexico has gone, the new leader taking that office has killed drivers licenses issued to illegal immigrants. Numerous States have also enacted the E-Verify system to reject foreigners, and placing in their stead American workers being hired. This is aiding cutting down on the massive unemployment around the country. This is a method of attrition, that is if the federal government is motivated to enact it as a mandatory law? Secure communities has also being applied by police forces through the land, to identify criminals who are also illegal.

    Unions need to comply with E-Verify to remove illegal aliens, that have for years been hidden under the eye of ICE agents. Republicans, a large majority of Independents joined by the Tea Party will support rescinding the 14th Amendment Act controversy. That any birthright citizenship for a child, may only inherit an American birth certificate only if either parent is either a citizen or naturalized citizen. Another law to be amended is the “Chain Migration law, as this has become another entitlement program, for sponsors who fail to financial support family members once they arrive here. Hundreds of bills are being discussed, amended or even written into law to deal with the illegal alien invasion. This is owing to the federal government’s complete failure to seal the border, build the double-layer fence and station 5000 National Guard or US troops on the border.

    The years of unresponsiveness to illegal immigration has placed us in this predicament, which has caused State financial deficits to soar sky high. The only salvation now being that Arizona has led by example and those States that fail to enforce policing laws will suffer heavy consequences as the economic refugees sweep in? There schools, hospitals and are in peril, from overwhelming hordes pushing themselves into soft states. This terrible situation has got to stop, that’s why I became a member of the Tea Party.

  3. JD Says:

    Seems as though it’s all right to profile REAL Americans, but illegal aliens are to be treated with the highest form of respect! Mr Snyder and everyone who cast their vote as a “Yes,” are my heros! The ones who voted “No” will be noted.

    We can’t wait for our Federal government to wake up and untuck and pull their heads out of their rear ends. Feds couldn’t care less about WE THE PEOPLE!

    These illegal “people” are draining our resources (medical, employment, food stamps, etc., PLUS they don’t pay taxes to help offset the millions or billions of dollars in benefits they unfairly and illegally receive. They send their money back to Mexico, and they are totally able to do so since they are given benefits that will allow them to save almost all of their money while the legal American taxpayers subsidize all their wants and needs.

    Americans are going to be fined and jailed if they can’t buy into this new health care sting, but the illegals continue to get FREE health care sponsored and paid for by the SAME tax-paying American citizens who’ll be fined and possible thrown into jail for not being able to afford to buy this high-priced, mandatory, federally forced health care.

    As to who will pick our tomatoes? The same people who picked them before these illegals brought their sorry azzes over here. Let them just continue to sell their drugs at the border, murder our Border Patrol, suck up our benefits—then just go ahead and allow the legal AMERICANS to have the few remaining jobs that are still here—the few pitiful jobs that have not been sent to China, India, Thailand, the Philippines, and other countries.

  4. Unreal Says:

    Yes lets bar illegals from all of those non existent construction jobs. What a great way to waste time. A couple days in session already and not one job creating bill yet.

  5. JD Says:

    Every time I’ve EVER been stopped by law enforcement (speeding) I’ve been required to show identification. To refuse is to insure a trip “downtown.” Why are illegals exempt???? I never felt I was being profiled. I was stopped for speeding, and showing identification to law enforcement is routine.

  6. JD Says:


    Run them back home and you’ll SEE some jobs opening up!

  7. Unreal Says:

    Actually that is not correct.

    The banking industry has destroyed our economy. Their failure to return to even a reasonable credit market is keeping our economy down. Construction will not return until banks start lending money again, and residential real estate developers decide it is time to build again. They are sitting around working on clearing out glutted inventory and trying to spread their losses.

    Illegal aliens have nothing to do with our economy, it is Washington and the banking system. There aren’t enough skilled American craftsmen to even support a thriving construction industry like we had just a few years ago.

    The general economy will remain stagnant until construction revives itself. There are roughly 30 million construction related jobs in America that represents more than 15% of the general workforce, and that does not include ancillary jobs created by the industry in real estate, law, title, interior design, etc.

    Place blame where it lies, and that is in Washington, and not in someone’s ethnicity.

  8. Dirk Says:

    Construction is at a low point but it will return again.During the boom years thousands of illegal aliens were employed cheaply replacing living wage citizens jobs.I’m currently managing a construction project with 15-20 subcontractor supplied illegal aliens on a daily basis.Quality and pride in workmanship is a distant memory.Bring it on Mr.Scott

  9. Dirk Says:

    Sorry to disappoint some but it hasn’t a thing to do with race,color or ethnicity.Its called legal vs illegal.Legal immigration has worked for millions and generations.US taxpayers shell out $113 billion per year in illegal alien support with Florida’s share $5-7 billion annually per

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