In a press release issued on Wednesday, City of Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado says he opposes the current proposed state legislation on immigration enforcement.

From the press release:

“We have heard the concerns of the people in the City of Miami; our residents and businesses fear that harsh immigration bills will create division between the local community, and harm the image of Miami as a welcoming city for tourists,” states Mayor Regalado. “We acknowledge that our country is still waiting for a debate on immigration and that the federal government has not taken full responsibility for this issue, but this is not the moment or the best way to act on the question of immigration.”

Senate Bill 2040 would mandate the use of E-Verify, a federal employee eligibility-verification program, as well as require local law enforcement to establish Section 287(g) agreements with the federal government. Section 287(g) is a controversial immigration-enforcement program that authorizes local law officers to enforce federal immigration law.

House Bill 7089 also mandates E-Verify, local-federal immigration enforcement and makes being undocumented in Florida a misdemeanor and allows an officer to arrest a person without a warrant, if “the officer has probable cause to believe that the person to be arrested is unlawfully in the United States.”

Mayor Regalado’s release states that H.B. 7089, “introduced by Rep. William Snyder from Martin County, is even a closer version to Arizona’s controversial immigration law as it turns being undocumented into a state crime and grants powers to all state police to ask for papers to anyone in Florida who is “reasonably suspicious of being undocumented. These provisions, also found in Arizona’s legislation, have been contested as unconstitutional by federal courts; and, if passed in Florida, the state will face the same legal challenges.”

The release concludes that “Mayor Regalado considers that turning immigration enforcement into a city, state or county responsibility will have negative impacts on tourism, business, public safety, and the community at large.”

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