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Immigration protests continue, Senate looks to ease up on biz, will hear bill Tuesday

by Dara Kam | May 2nd, 2011

Hundreds of immigrants continued their protests inside the Capitol on Monday as Senate GOP leaders craft reforms that would ease up on the House’s penalties against businesses that don’t use the E-verify system.

Senate President Mike Haridopolos said this afternoon that the Senate will take up and vote on its bill (SB 2040) tomorrow.

Before and after the Senate’s lunch break, immigrants – many of them children – and knelt in prayer outside the hallway leading into the back entrance to the chamber.

During the recess, they swarmed senators’ offices – including Palm Beach County’s Lizbeth Benacquisto’s – pleading with them to abandon their effots.

Senate budget chief JD Alexander, in charge of the chamber’s immigration package, has yet to release his proposal. During the lunch break, U.S. Sugar – one of the many agricultural businesses opposed to the reforms – lobbyist Robert Coker was inside Alexander’s office as immigrants lined the walls outside.

Alexander’s proposal is likely to include a modification of the House’s plan that would require businesses to use E-verify when hiring new employees and punishing those who do not use the federal system by yanking their licenses to do business in Florida. His plan include a fine for businesses that don’t comply with E-verify and take out the licensing provision, said Senate GOP leaders and business lobbyists working on the deal.

Last week, Alexander said he was leaning toward allowing law enforcement officers to request proof of immigration status after arrestees have been read their Miranda rights.

That’s still problematic, said Karen Woodall, a lobbyist for the immigrants, who she said are frustrated that the bills are stalled in both the House and Senate.

Many undocumented immigrants do not have drivers licenses, she said, and could be arrested for driving without them. The proposal could prompt more police officers to pull over Hispanic-looking drivers to check their licenses, keeping alive immigrants’ concerns about racial profiling.

With the business community, agricultural industry and church leaders opposed to the reforms and tea party activists intent on E-verify at a minimum, the push by GOP lawmakers is likely politically motivated, according to Woodall, a three-decade Capitol veteran. Many local officials – including the city of Lake Worth – also object to the proposals.

“Some people ran on this issue. They’re catering to a very narrow group of individuals that are vocal and losing sight of what is best for the state of Florida,” she said.

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8 Responses to “Immigration protests continue, Senate looks to ease up on biz, will hear bill Tuesday”

  1. Angry Citizen Says:

    This is unacceptable. J.D. Alexander is an citrus grower so we know where he stands. Haridopolos is a make version of the Valley Girl.

  2. Mr. K Says:

    Time for a little truth in headlines. Should be ILLEGAL immigrants protest. And listen to how unfair this is. “Many undocumented immigrants do not have drivers licenses, she said, and could be arrested for driving without them”. Exactly which laws is she ok with? Seems like it’s ok to ignore those you don’t like.

  3. wHY ARE ILLEGALS OR ANY PROTESTER ALLOWED INSIDE? Says:

    DO NOT GIVE IN SENATE AND HOUSE OF REP TO LEGAL CITIZENS ONLY.

    These people broke our laws, drive without license, insurance and have the nerve to PROTEST IN THE BUILDING AND HALLS THEY PAY NOTHING FOR?

    YOU AS A GOVT EMP HAVE NO BUSINESS PUTTING THEIR INTERESTS BEFORE YOUR PUBLIC…..US THE LEGAL TAXPAYERS.

    EVERIFY ALL! Anyone stopped by anyone in authority has to show ID! That includes everyone even hispanics.

    DO NOT LET THEM HIDE HER AND WE PAY WHILE THEY CLAIM THEY ARE BEING PROFILED.

    THEY HAVE NO RIGHTS THEY ARE ILLEGAL DEPORT!

  4. Brittanicus Says:

    The demonstrations that took place yesterday were far less in numbers than previous years. Could it be that illegal immigrants now realize their demands have angered the American people so much that there is no sympathy anymore? That citizens and permanent residents are sick and tired of being the payee of everybody who skips federal processing and have no intentions of being strong armed by the radical open border zealots there is absolutely no excuse when we know that thousands of these people are in this country illegally and not rounded up. THE AMERICAN PEOPLE HAVE INFINITE POWER TO STOP THIS SILENT CONSPIRACY CALLED ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION. DON’T BE DISTRACTED BY THE LIBERAL MEDIA, WHO ARE TRYING TO BRAIN WASH YOU; CALLING EVERY PERSON AN IMMIGRANT? THE MAJORITY OF INDIVIDUALS ARE ECONOMIC ALIENS, WHO ARE FLOODING THIS COUNTRY WITH BIRTHRIGHT CHILDREN. THIS NATION IS BROKE, PAYING FOR TWO WARS, PAYING ENTITLEMENTS, PAYING FOR EVERYONE WALZING THROUGH THE UNDERMANNED BORDER, OR FLYING IN?

    Remember that Americans will get no empathy of their job losses from the Obama Czarist administration or the Bush Republicans. All those teeming street rallies mean future votes for Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) and the buffoons, hiding their true identities as Liberals. Nor from Bush Republicans who don’t want to see, a giant loss of illegal workers; they bolster the profit margins of corporate welfare. ICE agents could have checked people in the crowds for their identification, with no prejudice to skin color? That’s why all soft Governors, Mayors, police chiefs and elected official who run Sanctuary States of California and elsewhere need to be removed from office and replaced by TEA PARTY representatives of the American people. FIND OUT IF YOUR MEMBER IN THE STATE OR FEDERAL CONGRESS, IS AN AVID BELIEVER IN THE TEA PARTY POLITICAL TICKET. IF NOT THEY MUST BE REMOVED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

    This is another reason why all legal law abiding people must insist on a mandatory E-Verify program for every legitimate business throughout America. No more half measures of voluntary E-Verify, so thousands of businesses can walk over the unemployed faces of Americans. We need more lightening ICE strikes on companies not toeing the line? So more “Whistle Blowers” feel they are not being disregarded by the immigration authorities, for informing on businesses where they are employed. Further every police department must be equipped with Secure Communities permanently, with access to ICE data bases. Thousands of Companies feel they are outside the law, but if they lose their business licenses, get fine, along with asset confiscation and jail, it might make the owners sweat a bit. Most certainly the extra cash will not benefit them if the monetary fine is $ 50.000 dollars or more, or sitting in a cell? ICE should audit not just a few restaurants, but hospitals, large corporations and a big resister of the law, Unions hiding illegal immigrants.

    The most powerful nation in the world is falling foul to Communist china. This has been forced upon us by unfair trade practices and the manipulation of currency by the Chinese. This unfair advantage has deteriorated our manufacturing base, the shutdown of thousands of companies that were making quality products, compared to the foreign countries that have imported cheap goods into this nation. Hundreds of thousands of average Americans lost their jobs, AND FOR WHAT. To bring cheap goods to America? The only people making huge profits are international mega corporations, which have taken US jobs offshore and across borders. The TEA PARTY will end this erroneous belief and tax US companies bringing low-priced inferior goods. We are the greatest population of consumer buyers in the world and we have the ability to place tariffs on all goods entering America, instead of these unequal trade policies that we have with NAFTA, CAFTA and China.

    We are destroying our own country, with millions of foreign national pouring through illegally attorney loopholes. Donald Trump in one of his many speeches, this time in Nevada about China and its huge financial impact on the American economy, “I’d drop a 25% tax” on imports from China.” There is no doubt in my mind that we must stop poorly made imports from china; toys tainted with lead paint, bad food imports. The only winners in this trade war are importers and China. My wife buys instant gratification from a deluge of catalogs. Unfortunate Cheap buys from Chinese manufacturers only last a few months, if you are lucky?

  5. theloneconsumer Says:

    The story is very telling: big business doesnt want to pay for anything, doesnt want regulation doesnt want any type of tax fees.
    We the people of Florida feel the same way big business and US Sugar Mr Coker feel. !!!
    So, what really will happen, according to supply and demand, the Industry using agriculture in Florida will have to pay more for labor to be legitimate. When the labor pool is not, they do not pay for services in Florida.
    PERIOD.
    I have lots of friends from foreign countries who pay the attys for immigration papers and pay taxes. Why is this a problem? Because once they have to pay like legitimate workers, the fees and PAYMENTS in wages go up from US SUgar Mr Coker’s pocket books.
    Sorry Mr Coker didnt get this incredible price for his 25% inflated NON Everglades’ properties. Sorry we are not a third world country and there are regulations for clean water.
    But, hey, Mr Coker, you are in the United States of America! Get over it! Pay like everyone else pays in Florida!

  6. Rich Says:

    Who do you think pays for illegals’ medical, food stamps, schooling, car insurance(because they don’t have any), prison and processing costs? US!!! And who makes the taxpayer pay for these programs >businesses that use illegals for cheap labor. Every time they use the emergency room it costs a small fortune. If illegals are marching in the capitol they should be arrested. The law is the law.

  7. Dirk Says:

    Boycott any business that is against strong e-verify.Contact Florida Senator Alexander at 805/487-5044 e-mail at alexander.jd.web@flsenate.gov Its time you let your voices of opposition be heard

  8. VIOLET Says:

    I have said it before, and i will say it again, illegal aliens come to America, and just spit and walk all over Americans, as though they don’t even exist in their own country America! Our own sorry politicians force us to put up with all of their bull! to have illegal status they are bold,rude, and nastily aggressive! Americans are not allow to say anything about how nasty they really are, when it comes to forcing their way into America, and jumping them selves into front lines to just about anything, leaving us Americans always second in line in our own country! It is a terrible shame, that illegal aliens have already tarnished our America status, just being here, and allow to do, and get so much on their illegal status, our government freebies, which is being paid for by our American tax dollars!! I just can not understand why Obama and many other people in congress, advocates, of illegal aliens, want to give our America to Mexico on a silver platter, and make us second class citizens in our own country! And why don’t our President and congress force their own politicians in Mexico, to help their own people, instead of forcing millions of illegal aliens on their own Americans!

    If Obama loose presidency 2012, it will be because his stupid comprehensive immigration reform with an amnesty or legalization for millions of illegal aliens, (lawbreakers!) He can not bring his self to see that illegal aliens are just using our birthright law for their own personal purposes, they were told to do this, it is part of their plots, plans, schemes, and scams, of America! It is an amnesty for their children alone!It helps them over populate them selves here in America at a very fast pace!! This way their children can become an American president, some kind of figure of our congress, and just turn America into a new Mexico, just to satisfy them selves! Americans are racist because they can see what illegal aliens want of America, and that is to conquer it!!!

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