Friday was a victory for Florida’s economy, businesses, tourists, and immigrants. Florida’s heritage as a state welcoming to immigrants and visitors from around the world has been preserved #

The release commends Sen. J.D.  Alexander, R-Lake Wales, chair of the Senate Budget Committee and an agricultural magnate who says he uses E-Verify on his own workers. He appeared deeply conflicted during much of the debate, saying the government had to enforce it laws, but that it was unfair to punish people who had in some cases spent decades working for companies like his, often with “a wink and a nod from the federal government.” #

We hope this sends a strong message to those who have sought to use Latin communities as scapegoats. If we lose the State of Florida to the Democrats with regard to the upcoming 2012 Presidential elections, we will attribute some of the blame to Flores. #

Flores sponsored S.B. 2040 and oversaw the January informational hearings that led to the crafting of the legislation, but eventually voted against the bill. #

While we are confident Hispanic voters in Florida District 38 will not forget the actions of State Senator Anitere Flores, we also hope the Cuban-Americans won’t allow Tea Party extremists to continue antagonizing our communities with fear mongering and false statistics. #

The Federation for American Immigration Reform — an organization whose legal affiliate, the Immigration Reform Law Institute, helped draft Arizona’s controversial immigration-enforcement law S.B. 1070 — heavily criticized Alexander’s role in the debate, and stated: #

On Wednesday, lawmakers in the Florida Senate passed a watered-down immigration enforcement bill and watched it die as the House failed to take it up in the hours before the State’s legislative session ended Friday. #

We Are Florida! — a campaign launched by the Florida Immigrant Coalition that seeks to change the debate around immigration in Florida — stated: #

A consensus is also growing from virtually every part of the State that the Federal Government must assume its responsibility to develop a truly comprehensive fix to our broken immigration system. Change takes courage. Until that relief truly comes, the everyday people of our State will continually brace for divisive debates. After the end of the session … the real work begins building bridges between neighbors and creating dialog where there is division. #

“What we can at least say is that the worst has been averted,” said Subhash Kateel, one of the campaign’s organizers. #

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