Both Republican candidates for Florida governor, Bill McCollum, and Rick Scott, as well as the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, Marco Rubio, have endorsed Arizona’s new immigration law, which you’d think would be counterintuitive in immigrant-heavy Florida, especially South Florida, Rubio’s home.
Not so — a May 18 Rasmussen poll indicates 53 percent of Florida voters (a telephone survey of 500 residents, not sure how many were immigrants) supported the law.
The law states that “any lawful contact made by a law enforcement official or agency … where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien … a reasonable attempt shall be made … to determine the immigration status of the person.” The law is controversial because “suspicion” that someone is an illegal alien is a pretty vague directive. There seems no way around the fact that accent and skin color could catch a cop’s attention, even though the law tries to cover itself by stating that prosecutors won’t investigate complaints “based solely on race, color or national origin” — which, of course, would be determined only after the arrest.
Rubio is an interesting supporter. He’s the son of Cuban immigrants and was raised in Miami, a city run by non-natives. Still, his spokesman Joe Pounder says the candidate “believes the federal government is not doing enough to secure our borders.” Does that mean he’d support such a law in Florida? “He believes they are two utterly different states,” Pounder says. “Florida doesn’t have a border with a foreign country.”
McCollum, who reversed his position to support the law to keep up with arch-conservative Scott, said that he’d be OK with a similar measure in Florida if the feds “fail to secure our borders.”
Photo courtesy flickr.com/photos/45976898@N02/