Nearly 200 protesters from South Florida jammed the Capitol’s fourth floor Rotunda as Gov. Rick Scott gave his State of the State address.
The group, part of the Florida Immigrant Coalition, came up in buses and many are being hosted by the First Presbyterian Church downtown.
Its pastor, the Rev. Brant Copeland, wrote in a recent newsletter that his church was “hosting 110 of these visitors on Tuesday and half are spending the night with us.”
Copeland has long been a voice for those caught in the crossfire over immigration reform.
The coalition objects to several bills for the 2016 Legislative Session, spokeswoman Karen Woodall said, including:
HB 9: Creating a third-degree felony for re-entering Florida after being deported from the U.S.
SB 118: Making it a first-degree felony for a person under a deportation order to continue living in Florida.
HB 675: Would, among other things, prohibit “sanctuary cities” like Miami from sheltering undocumented immigrants in the state.