UPDATE: As immigrants stage all-night vigil, Haridopolos urges House to pass Senate immigration billby Dara Kam | May 4th, 2011
UPDATE: Rep. William Snyder insisted late Wednesday night the Senate plan is a no-go in the House. “I think it’s thoroughly impossible,” Snyder said. Even if he had the two-thirds votes to take up the measure – which he said he does not – he likely wouldn’t because it’s nowhere near the comprehensive change he supports.
Senate President Mike Haridopolos urged the Florida House to take up and pass his chamber’s immigration proposal despite House GOP leaders’ insistence that the issue is off the table.
“This is an issue we’ve talked about for almost a decade. I would trust the House to take up that bill,” the Merritt Island Republican who is running for U.S. Senate told reporters late this evening. “I think it’s the right thing to do…I’d like to see them do it. These are common-sense items I think everybody would agree with.”
The Senate plan is too weak for conservative Republicans in the House and too strident for Democrats to get the two-thirds votes needed to consider the measure, according to Rep. William Snyder, R-Stuart, the House plan’s sponsor.
But Haridopolos said the Senate proposal that would require work force boards to run a federal immigration status check on potential employees before they are referred to employers, prohibit illegal immigrants from receiving state or federal benefits and deport criminals after their sentences are served is a good idea. The Senate measure, passed with no discussion on Wednesday, would also require law enforcement officers to check the immigration status of arrestees after they are detained.
Meanwhile, immigrants and their advocates stepped up pressure on lawmakers to abandon the immigration overhaul. Dozens of them prayed outside House Majority Leader Carlos Lopez-Cantera’s office. Lopez-Cantera is a member of the Hispanic Caucus that came out in opposition to the immigration bills. Late Wednesday evening, the immigrants decided to hold an all-night vigil outside the Capitol.