by Javier ManjarresFlorida’s much anticipated illegal immigration law is dead on arrival- there won’t be an immigration law. The so-called ” Most Conservative Senate” ever failed to pass an E-Verify amendment penned by Senator John Thrasher (R), and will submit the weak SB2040 bill that Senator Anitere Flores (R) has been pushing all along. Without the necessary leadership support to push the bill forward, Senators voted individually, and not in block like they do many times to help pass a bill that has been identified as ‘important’. The Florida House’s bill does include an E-Verify provision for government and private hiring and is overall much stronger, but it will most likely not see the light of day or come to a vote.
The reasoning is this- if the Senate were to pass such a weak immigration bill, what makes you think that they will adopt the stronger House bill? They in all likelihood wouldn’t, and the House would most likely feel compelled to adopt the weaker and squishier SB2040. If the House decides not to compromise and adopt the Senate bill, that means that there will not be an immigration reform bill to vote on. Recall that it was Senate President Mike Haridopolos who took the immigration reigns away from Flores after recieving backlash from constituents regarding her SB2040 bill and handed matters over to Senator J.D. Alexander- wrong move.
Alexander turned out to be one of a handful of Republicans that voted against the measure. Proponents of E-Verify can thank the Hispanic Caucus Republican Senators Anitere Flores, Rene Garcia and Miguel Diaz de La Portilla for voting against the E-Verify amendment. One Senator who also inexplicably voted against E-Verify is Senator Ellyn Bogdanoff (R) – this has me scratching my head.
It is now even more obvious what put the kibbosh on this needed legislation- not only did certain espanol-speaking Senators pander to their Hispanic base by voting against a strong immigration reform bill, but there were also several other Republicans that bowed down to the ‘Big Business’ lobby who have been adamantly against the E-Verify provision since the notion of an immigration reform bill first came to light.
Governor Rick Scott must be proud of the incompetence and Democrat-lite leanings of this so-called ‘Most Conservative Senate’ which he hoped would help him fulfill a campaign promise to bring a very strong and reasonable illegal immigration reform law to the State of Florida. Who’ll be willing to stand up and take responsibility the next time we read about crimes perpetrated by illegals who should have been long ago deported? Way to go, Florida Senate!!