Like many of the other states, Florida is considering an immigration law similar to Arizona, but even stricter.
The majority of Americans want this law, but the politicians are still playing to the special interest groups.
NEW PORT RICHEY - Several Tampa Bay area politicians have joined the growing call for an Arizona style immigration law in Florida. The law would require police officers to determine if people, questioned in connection with a crime, were in the country legally.
The Arizona law is not unconstitutional, according to Sen. Mike Fasano, ® New Port Richey.
“It’s a secondary offense,” said Fasano. “If police stop you for a crime, they will also question you about your immigration status and they should.”
Pasco County Sheriff Bob White made a similar call last week after two illegal immigrants were arrested on drug and weapons charges. “Florida needs a law like Arizona’s,” White said. “Maybe a little stricter.”
White says many of the people associated with the county’s largest cocaine bust in history, 52 kilos, were in the country illegally.
The first bay area politician to call for an Arizona type immigration law in Florida was Todd Marks, a Westchase lawyer running for the Florida House. Since then the number of supporters has grown and now includes Gubernatorial candidates Rick Scott and Bill McCollum.
Among its major provisions, the Arizona law requires immigrants to carry identification documenting their immigration status. State Representative Will Snyder ® of Stuart spent 20 years as a police officer in Miami and is planning to introduce the bill to the legislature. He admits it will be challenging to craft a law that protects the rights of legal immigrants and citizens while ending a look-the-other way approach to illegal residents living and working in Florida.
â??There is no way would I want someone to be approached solely because of their ethnic background,â?? said Snyder, considered a moderate among House Republicans. â??There is no perfect system in the world, but with careful drafting, we can make a clearer line.â??Florida would be among a growing list of at least a dozen states to contemplate an Arizona-like approach to curbing illegal immigration.
Along with southern border states, Georgia, Maryland and Ohio are among other states to at least consider the law.