The Florida Immigrant Coalition will deliver a a petition this week to Florida gubernatorial candidates Democrat Alex Sink and Republican Rick Scott, aiming “to oppose any attempt to bring Arizona’s controversial [immigration enforcement law] SB 1070 to Florida.”

In August, Attorney General and former gubernatorial candidate Republican Bill McCollum and state Rep. William Snyder, R-Stuart, released a proposed immigration enforcement bill similar to the Arizona bill.

In a press release, the Florida Immigrant Coalition writes:

During the primaries, bringing the Arizona immigration law to Florida was almost a daily feature in commercials. “Now it seems like our candidates have stopped mentioning the Arizona bill by name,” says Jonathan Fried, director of WeCount!.  “But unfortunately the effort to bring a law like Arizona’s SB 1070 to Florida is alive and well, and if it passes it would be disastrous for our state and our economy. We have the right to know where our candidates stand on this issue before the elections.”

A little known provision in the bill forces law enforcement to inquire into Floridians’ immigration status during routine stops. The same provision, however exempts Canadian and other mostly Europeans immigrants from having to prove legal status if they show their foreign passports.

The petition to be delivered this Wednesday to the candidates states:

The real problems in our state include the foreclosure crisis, the struggling economy, a fragile environment, and the safety of our communities. None of these problems are addressed, however, if immigrants are made into scapegoats, and policies promoting racial profiling become viable points for debate. Unfortunately, this is exactly what happened during the Gubernatorial primaries when several candidates agreed that the Arizona’s SB 1070 would be a good law to introduce into Florida.

We need clarity about the policies each of our candidates would propose if they are elected Governor and what effect those policies would have on the hardworking immigrants that have helped make our state what it is. We need to know if your campaign endorses racial profiling or equality, endorses progress or posturing, community safety or community fear?

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