Friday, January 14, 2011

Chief sponsor of immigration bill says
measure isn't likely to pass Legislature

From Marc Caputo of The Miami Herald on Jan. 10:
Gov. Rick Scott's campaign pledge to bring an Arizona-style immigration law to Florida faces an uncertain future in the Legislature, with the bill's chief Senate sponsor expressing doubts about the controversial measure.

"There probably will not be an Arizona-immigration style bill that passes the Florida Senate,'' said Sen. Mike Bennett, a Bradenton Republican.

Bennett said he's deeply concerned with the part of the bill that's most identified with Arizona's law: The requirement that local police officers with "reasonable suspicion'' attempt to determine a person's immigration status during a routine traffic stop or arrest.

Echoing civil libertarians and Hispanic lawmakers, Bennett said the measure could lead to racial or ethnic profiling. Though the bill explicitly bans discrimination, he said it might not be enough.

"I might not even vote for it myself,'' said Bennett, adding that he copied much of the Arizona law "to start the conversation'' about immigration reform.

Bennett and most other lawmakers, however, say they support a requirement that the state, and perhaps all private employers, check the immigration status of any prospective employee by using the federal government's E-Verify system.

But E-Verify's not perfect.

Only federal contractors can use E-Verify to check existing employees, said Francine Hill, a Homeland Security Department expert who warned that the system shouldn't be used for pre-screening prospective employees. She said it doesn't clearly identify illegal immigrants, but instead spots ``mismatches'' in immigration and employment data.


Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Header PS Brush by