Miami - Frustrated over double-speak and sloganeering during the election campaign, the Florida Immigrant Coalition and a diverse grouping of over 100 organizations petition both gubernatorial candidates, Alex Sink and Rick Scott, to oppose any attempt to bring Arizona's controversial SB 1070 to Florida.
During the primaries, bringing the Arizona immigration law to Florida was almost a daily feature in commercials. "Now it seems like our candidates have stopped mentioning the Arizona bill by name," says Jonathan Fried, director of WeCount!. "But unfortunately the effort to bring a law like Arizona's SB 1070 to Florida is alive and well, and if it passes it would be disastrous for our state and our economy. We have the right to know where our candidates stand on this issue before the elections."
A little known provision in the bill forces law enforcement to inquire into Floridians’ immigration status during routine stops. The same provision, however exempts Canadian and other mostly Europeans immigrants from having to prove legal status if they show their foreign passports.
"If that isn't racial profiling and anti-latino, I don't know what is" says Maria Rodriguez, of the Florida Immigrant Coalition. "If the bill passes, what's to stop the police from forcing Cubans and Puerto Ricans from having to prove they are here legally while giving Canadians that aren't a free pass?"
At least a hundred other organizations agreed. Organizations including the Florida Catholic Conference, ACLU, SEIU 1199, NAACP, SWER, WECOUNT!, The Hispanic Coalition, and small business signed the petition urging both Rick Scott and Alex Sink to make "a commitment...to oppose any Arizona-style sb1070 bill."