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Fla. state senate president promises chamber will pass immigration bill

The Miami-Dade County Commission on Tuesday approved a resolution urging the Florida Legislature to not pass any immigration legislation in 2012. The same day, state Senate President Mike Haridopolis said his chamber would pass the same immigration bill it passed in the 2011 session. The resolution approved in Miami-Dade states that during the 2011 session, the Florida Senate considered Senate Bill 2040, which “would have required immigration checks of inmates and also would have required employers to use the federal [E-Verify] system to verify [an employee's] immigration status.”

According to* The Miami Herald, “*Gov. Rick Scott and Tea Party activists around the state have said they want to make passage of an immigration bill a top priority of the legislative session. But the vote may be difficult for many legislators running for re-election in 2012. Because of redistricting, they will be forced to run in newly-drawn legislative districts and appeal to constituents they are not accustomed to serving.”

At this year’s RedState Gathering, an event for conservative politicians and organizations, Scott said, “I tried to get an [immigration] bill passed last year. It got through the Senate. It didn’t make it through the House. It will happen this session.”

The Florida Immigrant Coalition expressed support for the Miami-Dade County resolution, saying in a press release, “We hope this message arrives on time for legislators. In 2010, this Commission passed a similar resolution opposing Arizona’s SB1070 racial profiling law. However, more than a dozen copycat bills were filed in the session, one of them by one of our local Senators.”

According to the Herald:

**Haridopolos said the immigration bill, as with other bills that passed the Senate but not the House last session, will be given a fast-track approval “to get it to the floor and over to the House.”

“The House has talked very tough on immigration,” he said. “We have a bill that is very tough on illegal immigration. It’s in the House’s court. If they want to do something we’re poised and ready.”

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