Florida lawmakers push back against immigration reform

Democratic lawmakers in Florida recently spoke out against immigration proposals that seek to crack down on illegal immigrants in the Sunshine State.

State Senator Arthenia Joyner said that immigration enforcement should be left to the federal government and that the Florida legislature should focus on other, more important issues, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.

“Florida has more pressing problems,” she said at a news conference

“This is not Arizona, this is Florida, where the sun shines freely and everyone is welcome,” she added, drawing a comparison between Florida and the Grand Canyon State, which last year passed the most onerous immigration law in the nation, in part requiring law enforcement personnel to inquire about a suspects’ immigration status if they believe they are in the country illegally.

Even Republicans in Florida have scaled back their anti-immigration stands, compromising on certain provisions in their bill.

Perhaps most prominently will be the elimination of the requirement that employers confirm new workers’ eligibility through the federal government’s E-Verify system.

“E-Verify is a program that is substantially flawed,” Senate Judiciary Chairwoman Anitere Flores, a Republican, said. “There is a fairly high level of both false positives and false negatives.”