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Florida shouldn’t imitate Arizona immigration law

in Statewide by

The Los Angelas Times reprints an editorial first posted in the Orlando Sentinel: Proving that they know how to read polls, politicians in Florida have been lining up behind Arizona’s controversial new law cracking down on illegal immigration.

Republican candidate for governor Rick Scott has made support for the law a major plank in his platform, and goaded the GOP front-runner in the race, Attorney General Bill McCollum, into endorsing the idea. The leading Republican for U.S. Senate, Marco Rubio, also is backing it. Last week, the chairman of a state House panel on crime, Republican William Snyder of Stuart, said he’s interested in passing a law in Florida like Arizona’s.

Polls show a majority in Florida and across the nation support Arizona’s law. But many state and local police, who would enforce the law, oppose it. Their informed perspective would be a much better guide for Florida legislators on this issue than polls or pandering politicians.

The Arizona law was born of understandable frustration over the failure at the federal level to secure the southern border. Illegal immigration, and crime spawned by it, have surged in the state. While Florida has by some estimates a million illegal immigrants, it is not experiencing a crisis like Arizona’s.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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