Miami-Dade Commissioners Oppose Immigration Reform at State Level

The Miami-Dade County Board of Commissioners recently sent a resolution to Florida’s governor, senate president and other lawmakers, calling on them to oppose any immigration reform at the state level.

In their resolution, the commissioners registered their opposition to Governor Rick Scott’s stated intention to pursue immigration legislation during the 2012 session similar to the state senate and house bills that failed to pass last year. These bills would have mandated that all Florida employers use the federal E-Verify system to check the citizenship status of workers and empowered law enforcement officers to request documentation from suspected illegal immigrants.

The commission argued that if Florida passes a tough immigration law, it will negatively impact the state’s economy by discouraging international tourism and placing undue burdens on business owners to determine immigration status of employees.

According to the resolution, 65 percent of Miami-Dade County residents are Latino or Hispanic and about 50 percent of the county population was born in another country, meaning it will be among the areas most impacted by any immigration-related legislation.

Both states that border Florida to the north, Alabama and Georgia, have passed hard-line immigration laws that have been met with protests and constitutional challenges from the U.S. Department of Justice. A federal judge in Alabama is scheduled to rule on that state’s law by September 28.