The Florida Speaker of the House, Republican Dean Cannon from Winter Park, has announced that a new immigration-enforcement bill will be introduced during the newly begun legislative session. Much to the dismay of many, the bill would solidify the attempts of the previously drafted bills by allowing law enforcement officers to check the immigration status of someone involved in a criminal investigation, but not during a routine traffic stop. The bill will also require using E-Verify to confirm the immigration status of all public employees by January 1st 2012, and the mandate would expand to require private companies with more than 100 employees after Jan. 1st 2013. Rep. Cannon emphasized that the bill would be a “Florida-style” and not an “Arizona-style” immigration law.
Other bills being considered in the House and Senate would allow private citizens to sue local law enforcement agencies for failing to enforce state immigration laws. One other would require law enforcement agents to be trained in immigration enforcement, but only if the federal government provides funding. State Senator Mike Bennett (R-Bradenton), and Representative Trudi Williams (R-Fort Meyers), have filed immigration-enforcement bills that would prohibit state or local authorities from restricting or limiting the enforcement of immigration laws and require local law enforcement to request citizenship information under certain circumstances.
And so it appears that we are up for a very interesting legislative session this term. As always, we will continue to keep you informed with the latest immigration news that affects the members of our community and our esteemed clients.