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Gov. Candidate Bill McCollum Proposes Arizona-Like Immigration Law for Florida

5 years ago
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Florida Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill McCollum unveiled a sweeping immigration bill for Florida that he said would be stricter than Arizona's controversial law that allows police to check the immigration status of residents who are pulled over or detained, The Miami Herald reported.

"Arizona is going to want this law,'' said McCollum, the Sunshine State's attorney general. "We're better, we're stronger, we're tougher, and we're fairer."

McCollum's proposed legislation, announced Wednesday in Orlando, would require immigrants to carry valid documentation or face up to 20 days in jail, the Herald said. The so-called "Florida Immigration Enforcement Act" would also let judges impose tougher penalties on illegal immigrants who commit the same crimes as legal residents and allow residency status to be taken into consideration during sentencing.

Taking on immigration in a heavily Hispanic state like Florida is a sharp jag to the right for McCollum, who has been running neck-and-neck with his GOP opponent, former health care executive Rick Scott. Earlier this year McCollum was quoted as calling Arizona's law "too far out."

Scott has not commented on McCollum's proposal, but the Herald said other Republicans were divided on the issue.

"I am concerned that this could jeopardize civil liberties," said state Rep. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, a Republican of Cuban descent.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida promised to fight the measure if it becomes law.

"It is un-American and against our American values to mandate that police officers use racial profiling when they are performing their day to day duties," ACLU spokesman Brendon Hensler told the newspaper.

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What sense is it for people to leave their home countries, travel hundreds or thousands of miles to a strange faraway place, leave behind their friends and families, only to turn that place back into the place they left? The air, the water and the land in the United States is no better than anywhere they've left. The difference is the "system," the freedom in the U.S. If they want to destroy that, they're only destroying their own future. I'll be long gone, I have no children whose future will be wrecked. If then I'm someplace that I'm able to laugh, I'll be laughing pretty hard. Sure, it'll be a shame what they destroyed, but it will be they who reap what they sowed, the irony will be delicious. The history books will still be filled with the freedom idea, as they have been for hundreds of years, for people to put to use when they decide they want to.

August 13 2010 at 1:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The political aspect of the proposal is as wrong as most politician's proposals. However, the premise that illegal's are ruining our economy in the Trillions of tax dollars are not! Arizona is correct in addressing a problem our Federal government leaders have ignored for years as the problem became behemoth. All border States should follow suit and pressures should be brought to Federal legislators to allow States to control their own financial drains until they have can develop a plan that makes sense, is comprehensive, and above all effective without amnesty.

To argue they take jobs American's won't is ridiculous, if you understand that employers of the illegal's make Billions in profits because they won't pay a decent wage for the work done. If they had to pay fair wages American's would take those jobs. Of course they would then explore shipping more jobs overseas when possible. It is driven by greed, either financial or political. Illegal is just that, it is wrong and needs to be controlled before the primary language and culture of America becomes Spanish.

August 13 2010 at 1:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Just recently in GA an illegal running drugs was jailed. While there he had a stroke. The cost to the TAXPAYER for his health care? $400,000.00 Do we REALLY need to say anymore??

August 13 2010 at 12:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
hi bev

A lot of things need to be changed in this and one of them is for our government to understand that these people are here illegally. These people who came into this country breaking the law have no say. Congress should have a certain amt of years you can serve then out the door. No more, I have served for 30 years = thats bull. No more giving yourself raises as the average American is working, if they can find a job anymore, for companies that have freezes on raises. There has never been a poor government official and yet they are the ones making decisions for people in need. Does that make sense to you because it sure doesn't to me

August 13 2010 at 12:12 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
hi bev

I live in Florida and have been watching very closely the people that are running for election. Before this McCollum was totally against enforcing any kind of law like Az has but as election time nears, to get votes, he says what he knows the people want to hear. If he gets in he will go his original way and not do a thing. Rick Scott all along wanted laws like Az has. He is a man that hasn't changed his mind and doesn't flip flop to get votes.

August 13 2010 at 12:07 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

my parents came from russia and were examined at ellis island to make sure they would not bring any disease here.and was met by a relative who vouched for them.. . so why can't the same be done with ANYONE who wants to come to the usa? anyone can bring in any disease and it can spread because of no immigration law.. there has to be a better way for people to come to the usa without jumping over the border.. so come on congress.. either wake up or give up your seat to the younger generation..some of u people are there much tooooooooooooo long.

August 13 2010 at 12:04 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply

Florida tourism is already in the toilet due to the oil spill. AZ has lost over 40 conventions and tourism is down due to their short sighted law and the idiots running that state. I say go for it! Take back the spot light of freak show state of the year. Afterall, it's already been 10 years since the hanging chads mess. We've missed you on the nightly news.

August 13 2010 at 10:19 AM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply

It is morally wrong to kick people out of the country for doing what anyone of us would do in the same situation (unless we are deadbeats and don't care about making things better for our family). If I could provide a better living for my family coming to the U.S. I would do whatever was necessary to do that. They are taking jobs Americans don't want...that is a fact. For those of the religious right do you justify this when we are supposed to be our brother's keeper.....we ALL have the same Father. Simply because we happened to be born on this soil we have a right to throw people out? Give them a legal path to make things right....have them pay a fine, I don't care and they won't either, they will pay it...have them learn English...restrict their benefits or disallow them....whatever. Throw them in jail if they commit a crime. But give them a path to citizenship rather than simply deporting them which we know does not work. If they are providing a better life for their family, they will be back, just like you and I would unless we were deadbeats.

August 13 2010 at 10:16 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

Bill McCollum has my vote. I for one am sick and tired of these illegals draining America of all its social services. Easy solution is to take the jobs away and they will go home the same way they got here - WALK

August 13 2010 at 10:14 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

"In a number of countries, the automatic application of jus soli has been modified to impose some additional requirements for children of foreign parents, such as the parent being a permanent resident or having lived in the country for a period of time. Jus soli has been modified in the following countries:

"United Kingdom on 1 January 1983
Australia on 20 August 1986[2]
Republic of Ireland on 1 January 2005[2]
New Zealand on 1 January 2006[2]
South Africa on 6 October 1995[2]
France also operates a modified form of jus soli "

August 13 2010 at 10:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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