In a letter sent to Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolis, R-Merritt Island, the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce voiced its opposition yesterday to the state Senate’s proposed immigration-enforcement bill, “for fear of the economic impact such legislation will have on the state of Florida.”

Senate Bill 2040 would mandate the use of E-Verify, a federal employee eligibility-verification program, as well as require local law enforcement to establish Section 287(g) agreements with the federal government. Section 287(g) is a controversial immigration-enforcement program that authorizes local law officers to enforce federal immigration law.

The Hispanic Chamber letter (pdf.) agrees the immigration system is broken and that immigration policy should be developed by the federal government. It adds that Florida residents are right to be concerned about immigration, but that when a state takes on this issue, it sees unintended consequences.

The letter points out that when the Arizona passed immigration enforcement law S.B. 1070 the Hispanic Chamber did not boycott the state but took a fact-based and business response. They voiced their oppostion when a Center for American Progress report indicated Arizona’s S.B. 1070 resulted in the loss of at least 2,700 jobs in that state.

The Center for American Progress report also indicated that the impact of S.B. 1070 on the convention industry resulted in a $400 million loss in economic output and more than $130 million in lost earnings.

The letter references at least another 14 business organizations that oppose S.B. 2040, including the Florida Chamber of Commerce, the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association and the Associated Industries of Florida, which recently announced their opposition to the immigration bill.

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