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Thursday, September 28, 2023

Florida immigration bill may stall after Arizona court decision

A 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision Monday on an injunction against the Arizona immigration law might impede efforts to pass SB-136, the sister immigration bill in Florida.

SB-136, which would be implemented in October if the Senate passes it, requires that state officials and police detain undocumented residents, making the act of not having physical identification a crime.

In April 2010, the state senate of Arizona passed SB-1070, criminalizing undocumented immigrants and causing a national debate.

In November, Florida state Sen. Mike Bennett presented SB-136, which resembles the immigration crackdown in Arizona.

Adrian Felix, an expert in U.S. immigration policy and a UF political science professor, said SB-136 would discourage the Hispanic community, which would have significant economic and social repercussions.

“This law is completely unconstitutional; it allows racial profiling,” Felix said. “It is very important that action is taken by the community against this bill.”

Bennett said in a public statement that his goal is to reduce drug-related crime  through passing this bill.

The population of illegal immigrants in Florida was estimated at about 700,000 according to the Migration Policy Institute in November 2010.

One of the provisions of Arizona’s SB-1070 was blocked by a federal court, spurred by the response of the Hispanic community that staged an opposing movement for months last year through protests, speeches and strikes.

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