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FL Rep. Calls for Delegation on Immigration Before Next Session

Florida Representative Luis Garcia Jr. (D-Miami), has called on state Rep. Carlos Lopez-Cantera (R-Miami), to schedule a Miami-Dade legislative delegation meeting to consider taking a unified position on immigration. In his letter, Rep. Garcia refers to the recently released Miami-Dade County Commission resolution that called on the state legislature to not pass any immigration legislation, while expressing support for comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level. Rep. Garcia wrote: “In light of the resolution passed by the duly-elected commissioners that represent the same constituents we serve, and the recent news that Governor Scott is going to advance his extreme immigration agenda, I am renewing my call that you schedule a Delegation meeting prior to the start of the 2012 Legislative Session to consider this issue and take a Delegation position.” His letter adds: “While my previous efforts to address this important issue fell on deaf ears, and as chairman you chose to delay any action, I sincerely hope you will act on your statements shared earlier this summer that this issue will be addressed at a future meeting, prior to the start of Session.”

Referring to the efforts to pass immigration enforcement bills in the state’s 2011 legislative session, Rep. Garcia said that “Lopez-Cantera was sort of quite” and state Sen. Anitere Flores (R-Miami) “was allowed to be used by the Senate to bring home bad legislation.” In response to questions about how the Florida bills would have made the federal immigration enforcement program Secure Communities a permanent part of law enforcement in Florida, Rep. Garcia says the legislation is an example of a “law that has been abused, and why we need thorough immigration policy.” In addition, Rep. Garcia assures that the types of laws that are trying to be passed only serve to give “people an excuse to stop people [who are] documented or undocumented.” Given the overall practical ineffectiveness and socio-economic detriment a state immigration bill would yield, he is of the opinion that “the country must come up with meaningful immigration legislation because a lot of good people are suffering.” We believe his initiative that calls for a delegation to discuss immigration in our state is one that is both sensible while making complete sense for it is very important to avoid making rash decisions and it is instrumental that we instead examine the pros and cons of implementing an immigration bill in a state that depends on this demographic as much as Florida does.

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