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Subhash Kateel, of the Florida Immigrant Coalition, calls Florida a testing ground for Immigration and Customs Enforcement programs. For evidence, he points to the state's embrace of Section 287(g) — a provision in federal law that allows state and local law enforcement agencies to perform immigration law enforcement functions — and to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's implementation of ICE's Secure Communities program — a fingerprint-sharing system that grants local law enforcement agencies access to FBI criminal history records and Department of Homeland Security immigration records as part of the effort to identify and remove criminal aliens from the United States. Secure Communities is controversial, though. Not all of Florida's law enforcement agencies are enthusiastic about enforcing immigration law, statistics provided by ICE raise questions about how effective the Secure Communities system is at identifying and removing major criminals, and immigration and civil rights activists say they're skeptical of the program.
Florida House Speaker Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park, told reporters yesterday that the House plans to join two members of Florida's congressional delegation in appealing a judge's decision to reject a lawsuit that sought to block one of Florida's Fair Districts amendments from taking effect.
A report released this month aims to help state legislators considering Arizona-style immigration-enforcement bills answer this question: If S.B. 1070-type laws accomplish the declared goal of driving out all undocumented immigrants, what effect would it have on state economies?
John Cassani, a member of the Southwest Florida Watershed Council, is one of the few siding with the EPA in the debate over Florida's water quality problem. In a recent op-ed published in The News-Press, Cassani argues that the EPA's proposed numeric nutrient criteria (a set of standards to limit nitrogen and phosphorus in Florida waterways) are imperative for the health of Florida's environment.
Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Ocala, yesterday appeared on the 700 Club to talk about his recently launched investigation into the finances and policies of Planned Parenthood. During the interview, he discussed the influence of anti-abortion groups on his decision.