Do you support Florida , Arizona-Style Immigration Laws ?
PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. –
Some leaders said they want Florida’s laws to be as tough as Arizona’s when it comes to immigration.
The issue came to light especially after the incident off the Florida coast this week.
On Thursday, the Coast Guard responded in Port Canaveral as a boatload of 17 Haitian Creole speakers 15 miles offshore tried to come to Florida, before running out of fuel and calling for help.
Despite their dire condition, the Coast Guard did not allow them to come ashore, which is the procedure for illegal immigrants, although the Coast Guard has not identified the group as such.
“We’re under attack here on the beaches, where, under the cover of darkness, thousands of foreigners come ashore illegally,” said Rep. Ritch Workman, of Brevard County.
Other lawmakers feel similarly, which is why an Arizona-style immigration bill could be in place in Florida before the end of the year.
The Coast Guard constantly patrols for illegal immigrants, but thousands get through, and an estimated 800,000 are living in Florida.
Workman said it’s time for Florida to crack down the way Arizona has.
“We shouldn’t have to pay $3 billion for illegal immigrants,” he said.
Police would have the right to check anyone they stop for their immigration status.
“If you can’t prove who you are, you’ll have to sort it out in jail,” Workman said.
Voter Robert DuPree said the measure sounds un-American.
“We should encourage immigration; it’s good for America,” he said.
Workman’s proposal has strong support, as well as strong opposition. He said if a special session is called this year, he believes the Legislature will pass it.