Saturday, April 23, 2011

Florida Immigration Proposals Divide Cuban Americans

John Lantigua writes for the Palm Beach Post:

MIAMI — An immigration bill recently introduced in the Florida Legislature is doing something to the Republican Party's Cuban exile base in South Florida that Democrats have had trouble accomplishing over the years.

It is turning some Cuban-Americans against each other.

Senate Bill 2040 authorizes state law enforcement and corrections officials to increase cooperation with federal authorities in identifying undocumented immigrants being held in jails and prisons, which could lead to deportations. It also requires employers to confirm the legal status of new hires, in part by using E-Verify, a federal database.

The bill is not as tough as an immigration bill in the House, HB 7089, sponsored by Rep. William Snyder, R-Stuart. Snyder's bill allows all state, county and local law enforcement personnel on the street to determine the legal status of any person they investigate for a crime.

Critics of both bills say they would lead to racial profiling and target Latinos for deportation, and could discourage undocumented immigrants from reporting crimes or cooperating with police if they witness crimes. Read more...


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