Florida contemplating Arizona-style racial profiling law

(Miami Herald) An Arizona-style immigration reform bill filed by state Sen. Mike Bennett will lead to racial profiling of Hispanics and cost Florida billions, civil rights activists told the Manatee County legislative delegation Tuesday.

Bradenton attorney C.J. Czaia and county Democratic Executive Committee Chairman Richard O’Brien urged Bennett and six other state legislators to reject proposals that allow police to demand citizenship documentation while enforcing other laws.

Czaia, an American citizen raised in what is now Sri Lanka, said Bennett’s bill would encourage racial profiling by giving law enforcement the power to seek citizenship papers for “reasonable suspicion.”

That could ensnare people just because they have brown skin or speak Spanish, he said.

It would lead potential tourists from Mexico, Central America and South America to abandon Florida as a destination and cripple businesses that depend on immigrant labor, according to Czaia.

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One Response to “Florida contemplating Arizona-style racial profiling law”

  1. Peter Urdiales says:

    I totally agree with C.J. Czaia, the road Florida is pondering on taking is a very slippery slope with grave consequences not only to Florida’s tourism but a political backlash. I believe that what is at the heart of the issue is that Hispnaic population will be the majority in the United States and along with numbers is votes. Republicans and the Tea Baggers are fueling the flame of patriotism at the expense of the Hispanic population. I too agree we need to look at immigration and how to best address the issue but not the way State Senator Bennett is proposing. I live in Colorado and I know we have tucked away an Arizona type of legislation that mirrors what Flordia wants to do; if that happens States better be ready to deal with the results.

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