Florida Republicans Divided Over Immigration Law

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ORLANDO, Fla. —A month before the legislative session begins in Tallahassee, Republican leaders in Florida are divided over whether to enact an anti-immigration law similar to SB 1070 in Arizona, La Prensa reports.

Last week, the president of the state senate, Mike Haridopolos, R-Merrit Island, said that a law like the one enacted in Arizona would not be good for Florida. Agriculture commissioner Adam Putnam, also a Republican, agreed, saying it would not be financially viable.

Gov. Rick Scott, meanwhile, affirmed his support of an Arizona-style immigration law in Florida, and insisted that police should have the ability to ask people for immigration papers while they go about their jobs, even during routine stops. 

Scott, who ran his election campaign on an anti-immigration platform, signed an executive order requiring Florida state agents to use the E-Verify document verification system for all employees, including subcontractors.

William Snyder, R-Stuart, who drafted a bill similar to SB 1070 last August, said he is considering making some changes to the bill and that the final version would not be as harsh as what Gov. Scott is supporting.

It remains to be seen whether the Florida legislature approves a bill similar to SB 1070 when it begins its legislative session March 8.