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Senate quietly passes immigration bill

by Dara Kam | May 4th, 2011

With no debate, the Florida Senate quickly and quietly approved an immigration measure, keeping alive for now the issue the GOP-dominated legislature is unlikely to ultimately agree on.

The Senate measure, finalized yesterday after an emotional floor debate, would require work force boards to use E-Verify to check the immigration status of potential workers before referring them to employers and prohibit undocumented residents from receiving state or federal benefits. It would also allow nonviolent criminals to serve shorter sentences if they agree to be deported. And it would require law enforcement officers to make a “reasonable effort” to ascertain immigration status after someone has been arrested and detained.

The Senate approved the bill (SB 2040) by a 23-16 vote as dozens of immigrants and their children sat in the public gallery overlooking the chamber. The immigrants, a continuous presence in the Capitol who have stepped up pressure on lawmakers to abandon the issue over the past two weeks, left singing a song about freedom.

Despite the Senate’s action today, chances of the two chambers reaching agreement on the thorny issue remain close to nil.

House GOP leaders said they do not believe they have the votes to take up the Senate’s much weaker version of their proposal (HB 7089) that would require businesses to use E-Verify and give sheriffs, deputies and police officers the authority to ask for immigration documentation when they are pursuing a criminal investigation.

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30 Responses to “Senate quietly passes immigration bill”

  1. Educator Says:

    A total waste of time.

  2. Tadd Says:

    If the government would stop wasting time trying to deport those that want to live and work here and create jobs to help people become citizens it would help increase tax dollars once these people start taking the jobs that others want an inflationary wage for…”Lift and Shift”
    I know there would also be those looking for health benefits, but if they were allowed I’m easily might be more apt to be a good part of society!

  3. osve Says:

    Imigrants make of this country what it is today with out them are economy will fall to the grown

  4. Citizen Says:

    law & order, I see nothing wrong with trying to maintain this. Immigration laws exist for a reason and every human who wants to infiltrate our country should be subject to our immigration laws, plain and simple.

  5. Citizen Says:

    If someone who wants to enter our country has a communicable disease we should know about it, if someone wants to immigrate to our country and is a pedophile.. we should know about it, if someone who want to enter our country is a drug dealer..we should know about it. If someone is a supporter of osama… we better know about it.. no more time for empathy.. we are talking about national security.

  6. w tobias Says:

    if the illegals were allowed citizenship, tomorrow, by the following week they would be without jobs. there would be no raise to minimum wage, no health care insurance, why because the employers of illegals dont hire them to be nice they hire cheep labor remove that and they will find more, after all. as soon as they are citizens they will be part of jobs Americans do not want, and will be brushed aside for new cheep labor

  7. Jonathan Says:

    There are millions of Americans without jobs, this is not the time to open borders.

    Also, we must amp up national security, protect out borders and take action.

  8. jeff Says:

    repeal the chinese exclusion act and all of its derivatives from 1872 to 1924 and you won’t have illegal aliens. japan has the third largest economy in the world because they let anybody come to work the worst jobs in their country. food chain metaphor, more lower jobs filled more upper jobs to fill. we can find the water for additional population. maybe their family back in their homeland will be more freindly to Florida. state papers

  9. Robert Gean Says:

    If you go the Mexico and do not have funds to support yourself you are jailed and deported. Why not do the same here. If a company hires illegals and does not check them, fine the company the hired them. Our state spends millions (billions) of dollars on social services for the illeglas.
    Deport them, that would be cheaper than supporting them as we do now. Stop anchor babies, we are the only country that has that.
    Thank You,
    Rolbert Gean

  10. dave Says:

    Its about time the government did something about this

  11. blissmysoul Says:

    If we could’ve kept the money the government takes out of my husband’s paycheck every week to pay for those that are here ILLEGALLY or are UNWILLING to work, we’d be able to go to the doctor when we’re sick, buy the food I see them get at the grocery store that we can’t afford, and live in a safer neighborhood. Why is it they we obey the laws, pay our taxes, but find ourselves being treated so unfairly? It’s almost to the point where you feel, “Why fight it anymore?”when I take my son to the ER and they get all this FREE healthcare and we get stuck with a $ 3, 000 bill.

  12. Ivan Says:

    If we are passing racist bills, why don’t we start with the bill to search and deport the original illegals: any and all WASPs living in the state of Florida. The ancestors of those WASPs killed the natives, brought slaves, dropped an atomic bomb on innocent civilians, passed anti-Chinese exclusion laws a century ago, detained peaceful Japanese citizens during WWI, etc.
    No human is illegal! Why do angry old white people always need someone else to blame for their own failures in life?! Disgusting.
    Thank God Billy Bob is on the wrong side of both history and demographics and will be just another minority in less than 20 years…tick tock, Billy Bob!

  13. Unreal Says:


    Actually you don’t have to worry about your husband’s hard earned money going to illegals. We borrow much more than it costs us to care for illegals. Your husband’s taxes aren’t even enough to pay for all of the other government operations.

    You can feel good now that none of your families hard earned money goes toward illegals.

  14. marisol Says:

    from blissmysoul and citizen:
    I do not know any undocummented person that lives FOR FREE!
    They Pay rent,BILLS,FOOD and everything that a citizen has to pay.
    They send money to their families in their country and DO NOT LIVE OFF WELLFARE!
    If they go to the emergency room the minimun they make the undocummented pay is at least $500 and there is no insurance and if they get sick they DO NOT GET COMPENSATION like every Citizen does
    Undocumented even pay taxes that never return….that money becomes the State and Federal goverments money….
    Undocumented work for CASH in farms and construction helping the stability of the state….
    MANY CITIZENS ARE LAZY and dont like to work in that kind of work and use the undocumented to do THE WORK THE CITIZENS DON’T WANT TO DO!
    Now that the middle class of the american people is like the middle class of the undocumented theorfore the american people feel Threatened.
    And look for a personal solution not a national solution.
    the best solution is to do a reform for the few that follow requirements and then raise National Security! and STOP SEPERATING FAMILIES THAT MAKES THE STATE WASTE MONEY IN IMIGRANTS THAT HAVE NO CRIMINAL RECORD.

  15. Dirk Says:

    Sorry Marisol,citizens are not naive enough to believe that La Raza rubbish.

  16. Dirk Says:

    Sorry to disappoint the pro-illegal groups but for me its not about hate,racism.Its entirely about playing by the rules and abiding with US laws as millions of legal immigrates prior

  17. Mauricio Says:

    As a first generation american, I find it difficult to comprehend that this is the only country in the world that isnt allowed to enforce their boarders and laws. Try having any rights in any other country in the world by sneaking in and evading the law.

  18. FedUPwFED Says:

    Proper reforms will not happen while Republicans like JD Alexander want the illegals to work their “blueberrry” farms and pander to the “agriculture” big business.

  19. Dirk Says:

    Would the pro-illegal commentors here be the same best and brightest the Dream Act was to legalize?

  20. Brittanicus Says:

    Do Americans remember the promise of Teddy Kennedy regarding the 1986 amnesty bill?

    No other personage in American politics carries as much accountability as this Democrat/Liberal Ted Kennedy for the contemporary wretched state of U.S. immigration chaos. In his words:

    “This amnesty will give citizenship to only 1.3 million illegal aliens. We will secure the borders henceforth. We will never again bring forth an amnesty bill like this.”

    Over five million foreign nationals suddenly materialized demanding—Mass AMNESTY. This was the first lie to the American people on immigration, as lie upon lie ever since has been piled on top of this original lie that relating to amnesty, border fences and interior enforcement. Our country has been slowly turned into a third world toilet, brought upon us by this original lie Kennedy response to his critics on enactment of the 1965 immigration bill, “The charges I have mentioned are highly emotional, irrational and with little foundation in fact. They are out of line with the obligations of responsible citizenship. They breed hate of our heritage. …” Kennedy promised, “The bill will not flood our cities with immigrants. It will not upset the ethnic mix of our society. It will not relax the standards of admission. It will not cause American workers to lose their jobs.” However Ted Kennedy’s immigration policies have ejected hundreds of thousands of Americans out of the middle class as their occupations have been crippled by wages declining because of the deluge with Kennedy’s preferential treatment to foreign national’s workers, streaming into every niche of our society and because they have directly lost their jobs to illegal border and overseas competitors.

    Well, the sick joke is on us.

    In the years previous to 1965 United States was well serviced by the immigration laws of 1924 which had shaped an unwavering middle class social order. Then along came the Democratic social manipulators as Senator Kennedy of Massachusetts who ideology entirely wrecked American populace with “Hart-Seller” Act of 1965. The Hart-Cellar Act abolished the national origins quota system that had controlled US immigration policy since the 1920s, replacing it with a preference system that focused on immigrants’ skills and family relationships with citizens or residents in this nation. It was tantamount to opening the floodgates to unskilled labor from Mexico, Central and South America; its inception was a policy of wide open borders that has attracted to this country a wide variety of criminals, which includes drug cartels and their human transporters. A day doesn’t go by without a television channel reporting another pedestrian killed by an illegal alien drunk while driving. Our courts a crammed solid with cases of criminal aliens killing, or the latest innovations of home invasions, kidnappings and Americans becoming the pray of heinous crimes committed by foreign nationals.

    In 1965, the American people were guaranteed that immigration would never exceed its then low level of 250,000 annually. Currently, it is at an all-time high of over a million a year and still rising. Six stealth amnesties have been overlooked by the public, with intentional results, such as larger numbers of unemployment of legitimate workers, being replaced by unscrupulous business owners whose only concern is higher profits. Because of importunate congressional mismanagement immigrants and their descendants will fuel a massive increase in the population of the United States for the foreseeable future, creating irreversible overpopulation growth, with large monetary rewards for criminal companies. American workers must exact a criminal penalty on these companies; not the lower management, but the penthouse people, who must see the inside of a jail cell. If illegal Immigration continues unabated, without relating to the change in American labor markets, conditions in the inner cities, or the mounting expenses to state and local taxpayers will be inexcusable Ted Kennedy’s function in creating this situation has been enormous to US taxpayers and the State of our communities. Neighborhoods are crammed with the impoverished of foreign lands, confusing our own language, bringing dangerous religions and tearing the fabric of the real American culture apart.

    Another program enacted at the behest of the late Senator Kennedy was a Seasonal Agricultural Worker (SAW) amnesty. This was another option to the temporary-worker program SAW, promoted by California Growers. The SAW amnesty was projected by a New York newspaper to have fraud rates as high as 70 per cent, and the number of people who took advantage of the amnesty was estimated to be at least three times the number that was qualified given the size of America’s agricultural labor force. All they needed to be eligible for the amnesty was a document saying they had worked for the specified number of days in harvesting crops, and those documents were simple to forge. An (INS) Immigration and Naturalization (prior to a merger and becoming (ICE) Immigration and Customs service) study found that after ten years in the United States, the average amnestied illegal alien had only a seventh grade education and an annual salary of less than $9,000 a year. Unlike immigrants who are sponsored and guaranteed they will not become a burden on the welfare state. When Washington enacts an amnesty, it makes the American public monetarily obligated for those amnestied. So According to a report from the (CIS) Center for Immigration Studies, the entire net cost of the 1986 IRCA amnesty (the direct and indirect costs of services and benefits to the ex-illegal aliens, minus their tax contributions) after ten years comes to over $78 billion.


    You do not have to calculate to hard that current and previous governments, have been stealing hundreds of billions of dollars each year, to support this illegal immigrant occupation in education and health care and other financial programs. While $40 billion dollars a year of these illegal immigrant hires are transferred out the country to foreign banks.

    Prior to Kennedy’s 1986 bill, L.B. Johnson had signed his own immigration policy into law, with most immigrants to the United States coming from Europe; 70 percent coming from the United Kingdom, Ireland and Germany. European immigrants easily assimilated, as they were culturally and economically analogous to America’s population. Immigrants were educated with higher skill rates. Nowadays poorly educated, non-skilled illegal migrants and immigrants arrive and are supported by taxpayer-funded entitlements and social services, ensuing in increased use of emergency rooms, increased welfare rolls, increased registration in free public schools for their children and increased cost of law enforcement and unparalleled increase in prison occupancy. As most illegal aliens are hired on a under-the-table cash payment, so they avoid taxes and therefore middle-class taxpayers pay even more to cover the increased use of public services. As taxes increase and wages decline, America’s working middle class is being exploited by the IRS.

    Ted Kennedy who is not here today lied and is joined by others, that includes The White House, and other open borders pushers. What really is amnesty is called “comprehensive immigration reform” and treasonous. It is unmerited support for illegal aliens, open borders policy, and free citizenship (small fine) to millions who have no allegiance to sovereign country and to our civilization. The 1986 bill has overall been a washout and mockery, because the downright intention not fulfills the requirements of big business intervention. If you as a patriotic Americans want to stop the President Obama and his minions in both parties, passing another volatile Amnesty? Then you must join tens of millions of honest legal birthright citizens, naturalized citizens and legal residents in the TEA PARTY. The call is already going out across the world, which they can procure an AMNESTY and take advantage of the US welfare and social service system. ONLY AMERICANS CAN STOP THE OBAMA GOVERNMENT , BY BOMBARDING YOUR STATE AND FEDERAL REPRESENTATIVES TO HALT IT.

  21. Outraged taxpayer Says:

    Illegal is illegal. We make laws so that people are protected. People that break laws have no respect for our system and will commit fraud and other crimes until they are caught and punished. It costs the state over 6 billion dollars in entitlements\ programs and incarceration for illegals not to mention the real threat that terrorists can get in easily undetected. Our real threat is not knowing who is here.

  22. theloneconsumer Says:

    I have russian Bosnia friends that come to America, and pay to have legal papers so they can work. The “negative externality” id that Big Business does not want to enforce federal and state laws. Big business needs to PAY these workers enough so they can afford medical, and proper housing in Florida.
    Otherwise, social services in Florida becomes the payment of tax dollars for what Big business does not want to pay for or absorb.
    ITS ABOUT TIME someone put Associated Industries and Barney Bishop on a diet.
    FP&L has been contracting for OUTSIDE FLORIDA NON UNION workers to do power plant construction.
    YOU are in “Rome-Florida” bhoys, PAY TO PLAY!

  23. Jesus for Immigrant Says:

    Let this stupid state deport us. See if they can continue their life without us. Dont be scared to what is gonna happen, your God will always be with you.

  24. Angelino Says:

    Robert, you say the United States spends millions for healthcare for illegals,

    How much time and money do you think the local and federal governments spend creating task forces to enforce these immigration laws.

    Would you be willing to pay more for your produce? Fruits? Vegetables? Milk?

    I doubt it.

  25. R. Dean Fowler Says:

    I have had four so called “illegal ailens” working at my resort for twelve years. They are paid the same hourly rate as local employees and enjoy the same benefits. They are always included in company events, they attend local churches and their kids to go local schools. We deduct payroll and income taxes from them and submit the deductions to the State and Federal governments; the only difference is, they don’t get personal credit for the thousands of dollars they have paid into social security and other program. They don’t have a legal social security card so our government gets to keep thir payments forever. There are many reasons I employ Mexicans. Not one of my Mexican employees has ever stayed home and claimed to be sick. They don’t want to stop working even when it is raining. Unlike most American born employees they take pride in their work and take inititive. Tell them you want a certain thing done every Monday, and you never have to tell them again. They don’t come to work drunk or dopped up. They come to work to work. If you go to their church with them on Sunday morning, which I have done, they and their children are the leaders at the church. They keep the cost of groceries down for all of us, not because they get paid less than other workers, but because they pick more tomatoes per hour than their American counter parts.Replace them with members of the AFL-CIO and tomatoes will cost you $5.00 per pound. Without these employees from third countries, we would see a decline in the US’s GNP, a rise in food cost and in the cost of services such as car washes, landscaping plants and all other services and products they help produce. I wish so much that the Republicans, of which I am one, were interested in the truth about the illegal immigrants working in America. They are no more of a criminal threat to this country than any single group of Americans. People that feel threatened by the Mexicans are people that have, for the most part, been unable to achieve the American Dream and need someone to blame it on.
    Wake up America. We need employees willing to do the hard physical jobs.

  26. JC Says:

    I think that if they deport everyone whi is illegal in florida, they are making a huge mistake because for example,,, Imokalee fl,, do you have an idea how much farming there is just in that area? Its probably 15% of the damm nation that would be lost. Because its all done by illegals,, so face it america! You need us, and we need you, i have 3 kidz, myself have never lived in mexico, never worked there or any thing,,, if i go back how would i support my family! I facr a huge problem that worrys me sick cause if i go back it would be starting from zero for me ,and my family, especially my kidz, new school, new language new everything.

  27. anonymous Says:

    leticia olalia morales of 15501 pasadena ave #8 tustin ca 92780 submitted fake documents and paid 5000 dollars to obtain a US tourist visa. she also submitted fake employment records to obtain a work visa. she is now applying for citizenship.

  28. theloneconsumer Says:

    From newspaper articles in 2003, Jeb Bush’s brother, W, the president allowed the mexican consulate to give immigration visas around denied visas the US would not give to these workers. Then they came to america.
    W Bush milked the hispanic vote card, spoke of tighter controls, then let the mexican consulate do what they needed to do to get workers to the US. They in turn send remittances, or money from their checks to prop up the Mexican govt, who does not spend money for their citizens. You say democracy, we say oligopoly.
    And the richest mexicans live in America, the millionaires, with money that is not spent on mexican infrastructure.
    The biggest holiday in Mexico is when they through out our US oil companies that were fleecing the state.
    The citizens need a revolt in Mexico like they are doing all over the Middle East.

  29. Disappointed Says:

    Our governor and senate president by default gave an open invitation to illegals from all over the country. Now that Georgia enacted strict laws, Arizona’s immigration laws were verified by the Supreme Court and California is letting tens of thousands of illegal felons out of prison I am sure they will find their way to the state where illegals stormed our capitol and demanded their rights and won. Our children , elderly and friends are left vulnerable to more attacks.

  30. GOD Says:

    Let LOVE be your greatest goal…


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