Immigration Bill Revision Encourages Advocates

On 25.02.11, In Legal Industry, by Blake

2/25/2011

Florida State Rep. William Snyder has announced that some sections of his proposed bill, which could radically alter and amplify Florida’s immigration enforcement, have been changed. This was revealed by Snyder during a meeting with immigrant advocates.

The proposed bill, which seeks to duplicate Arizona immigration laws, has been meeting a lot of criticisms, particular on its potentiality to affect millions of people and a great number of industries.

By changing some sections of the proposed bill, it appears that Rep. Snyder, a Republican from Stuart, is listening to the adverse reactions of his constituents. Immigration advocates had warned that some sections of the Bill could lead to racial profiling.

The original draft of Snyder’s bill allows state, county, as well as local law enforcement authorities, to fully establish the immigration status of anyone during “a lawful stop.” This could happen if they suspect that the subject is not in the US legally. The original draft also explicitly excludes Canadians and persons from “visa waiver countries.”

“Visa waiver countries” are those nations whose citizens can enter, for business or tourism reasons, the United States without a visa and stay in the country for 90 days. These include Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and many European countries.

The advocates had warned that this aspect of the proposed bill could lead to racial profiling, mostly of undocumented Latino immigrants. Advocates have also questioned if the particular section of the draft amounts to selective enforcement, thereby making it unconstitutional.

Angelina Castro, a Martin County immigration attorney, said, “He told us at the meeting that part of the original bill is already gone.”

Snyder said that the legislature, while having the option of reintroducing that section back into the bill, will unlikely make such move.

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