After commission urges not to pass immigration legislation, Fla. lawmakers ponder next move

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Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 10:58 am | More from The Florida Independent

State Rep. Luis Garcia Jr., D-Miami, called on state Rep. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, R-Miami, to schedule a Miami-Dade legislative delegation meeting to consider taking a unified position on immigration.

In his letter, Garcia refers to a Miami-Dade County Commission resolution approved this week; it calls on the state Legislature to not pass any immigration legislation, while expressing support for comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level.

“In light of the resolution passed by the duly-elected commissioners that represent the same constituents we serve, and the recent news that Governor Scott is going to advance his extreme immigration agenda, I am renewing my call that you schedule a Delegation meeting prior to the start of the 2012 Legislative Session to consider this issue and take a Delegation position,” Garcia writes.

His letter adds: “While my previous efforts to address this important issue fell on deaf ears, and as chairman you chose to delay any action, I sincerely hope you will act on your statements shared earlier this summer that this issue will be addressed at a future meeting, prior to the start of Session.” (Read the full letter below.)

Referring to efforts to pass immigration enforcement bills in the state’s 2011 legislative session, Garcia tells The Florida Independent that “Lopez-Cantera was sort of quiet” and state Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Miami, “was allowed to be used by the Senate to bring home bad legislation.”

In response to questions about how the Florida bills would have made the federal immigration enforcement program Secure Communities a permanent part of law enforcement in Florida, Garcia says the legislation is an example of a “law that has been abused, and why we need thorough immigration policy.”

“I have been very outspoken about how these laws have been passed and been applied,” he says. “It gives people an excuse to stop people documented or undocumented.”

“The country must come up with meaningful immigration legislation because a lot of good people are suffering,” Garcia says.

Read Garcia’s letter here:

Dade Delegation Ltr. – Immigration – Sept. 21_ 2011

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