Just a few months ago, the push for immigration enforcement laws following the lead of Arizona’s S.B. 1070 was in full swing, but over the past week legislators in several states, including in Florida, have spoken out against Arizona-style immigration enforcement bills.
The American Immigration Council reports:
This week, another batch of state legislators in Nebraska, Indiana, Colorado and Texas dipped their toes in the enforcement-only waters, but found themselves facing an even louder chorus of opposition from their communities.
In South Carolina, the farming lobby is putting pressure on lawmakers considering “papers please” Arizona-style legislation to also consider farmers who need seasonal labor. Last week, amidst questions on the bill’s legality, South Carolina legislators sent an Arizona copycat bill (SB 20 ) to committee for further discussion. This week, however, the American Farm Bureau said it would pursue a policy that “assists the federal government in helping states create programs that give growers access to enough legal labor”—that is, temporary legal status.
The Florida Independent reported this week on pronouncements made by state Rep. Steve Bovo, R-Miami, and state Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Miami, rejecting Arizona-style immigration enforcement for Florida.
The Immigration Council adds:
Similarly, the Florida Hispanic Caucus, Florida Catholic Conference, Florida Police Chiefs Association, farm-worker advocates, farmers and business groups joined Republican State Senator Mike Bennett in his concerns over Florida’s immigration enforcement bill (SB 136). Sen. Bennett, who is actually the bill’s chief Senate sponsor, worries the bill may lead to racial or ethnic profiling. The Florida Senate met on Monday to discuss an Arizona-esque immigration enforcement bill. Florida Rep. Bill Snyder plans to introduce a similar version in the House this spring.