State Rep. William Snyder, R-Stuart, current chair of the House Judiciary Committee, is considering changes to his immigration enforcement bill that mimics certain provisions of Arizona’s controversial S.B. 1070.
According to the Sun-Sentinel:
Snyder said he may tweak the part of his bill, also in Arizona’s law, that would allow state, county and local law enforcement officers to question the immigration status of anyone during a “lawful stop.”
Instead, law enforcement officers would be able to use such questioning only during a criminal investigation.
That would alleviate concerns about potential racial profiling during traffic stops, Snyder said.
He called potential changes to his bill, still in draft form, a “modification” rather than a change in direction.
Snyder told The Florida Independent in December that his bill was a “work in progress.”
The Sentinel adds:
Snyder, who held a heated town hall meeting on his draft bill in Palm City, remained adamant about giving law enforcement more tools to combat illegal immigration.
“I am not contemplating moving away from what I think are the necessary components of the bill. That would be a law enforcement component and employment verification component. That’s where I’ve been from day one,” said Snyder.
GOP legislators such as Miami state Rep. Steve Bovo and state Sen. Anitere Flores have opposed a bill like Snyder’s, but state Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, has also sponsored an immigration enforcement bill that shares language with Snyder’s law that would, among other things, implement attrition through enforcement.
According to the Sentinel pro-immigrant organizations as well as business representatives have raised their voices against Arizona-style immigration enforcement laws:
Snyder’s potential removal of the bill’s most controversial components is “a step in the right direction” but does not go far enough to ease the potentially chilling effect such a law could have on the state’s tourism industry and Latin American visitors, said Jose Gonzalez, a lobbyist for the business-backed Associated Industries of Florida.
Gonzalez said concern about the bill is already making it difficult for some businesses to hire international employees worried they may be the target of a police investigation for looking Hispanic.