Florida Attacks Immigrants... AGAIN

The blog below details House Bill 9 (HB9) that was introduced over a month ago in the Florida legislature. With the recent statement by Governor Rick Scott on refusing Syrian refugees, it is no surprise this bill is being introduced on the House floor tomorrow, Wednesday, 11/17/2015.

The current Florida State legislature has taken the stance to fight the Federal government on immigration on every level and that is why HB9 should be a concern for all as well. Take action and call your legislators per the information below!!


Florida Legislators Attack Immigrants….AGAIN

For the past decade, restrictive immigration laws have been appearing in states across the country. Most states argue that with Congress not moving on immigration reform they are unable to address issues like housing and driver's licenses, making it difficult for them to regulate the lives of immigrants, in the same manner that they regulate the lives of citizens. What many of the State legislators fail to realize - and sometimes fail to tell you - is that immigration is managed at the federal levels of government. The state cannot enforce a state law criminalizing a federally designated status.  

           Recently Florida House Rep. Carlos Trujillo (R, Dist. 105) was brought under fire for his introduction of  House Bill #9 (HB9) stating that persons subject to final deportation orders are prohibited to reside in Florida if they are scheduled to be deported. If they do decide to stay, the state of Florida can add a first degree felony to their record, and their  violations will be  punishable with up to 30 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.

         What Rep. Trujillo does not address in his bill is that immigrants that are scheduled for deportation in the United States have the right to some federal relief.The federal government offers benefits to people who have an order of removal and the process is overseen by the Department of Homeland security (DHS). When someone is scheduled for deportation or an order of removal, they also fall into an order of supervision category and the entire process is monitored on a federal level, making a person’s Immigration status and rights to relief a federal issue. The states do not have the power to enforce any of these laws, but are chipping away at them to make it more and more difficult for immigrants to find ANY relief within their state, piling on fines and imposing the fear of imprisonment as scare tactics and ignoring that these federal benefits exist.

                Have our Florida legislators not paid any attention to what other states who have attempted to regulate immigration issues have experienced? As recently as 2012  theSupreme Court struck down three provisions of Arizona's SB 1070, the most famous of the recent state immigration-control laws, and left a fourth open to future legal challenge. In the process, the Court confirmed that states cannot enact their own immigration policies, and may not empower their law-enforcement officers to make immigration arrests unless specifically authorized by Congress. State immigration-control laws are ineffective and can’t change the federal system. As the Supreme Court made clear, only the federal government can reform our immigration laws. If bills like SB 1070 or Representative Trujillo's  HB #9  passed they would be very costly, and outright discriminatory. Immigrant or not, each individual case is different and each individual has the right  to due process. Scare tactics are no longer working, the truth is          most immigration violations are civil in nature and don’t result in criminal prosecution. The box is not one size fits all and that is why federal benefits allotted to immigrants during deportation proceedings exist.         

      The discussion we should be having is about how important comprehensive immigration reform is not only to our state but to our country. One that provides a real path to citizenship, that is not paved by unrealistic expensive state laws and fear mongering;  but with opportunities. It is up to us to remind our state legislators were real changes need to be made, at the federal level.   

It is important to speak out and voice our concerns and let members of the committee know that you do not support House Bill 9. This bill divides our communities and fuels racism and hatred.

Call the Chair of the House Civil Justice Subcommittee, Representative Kathleen Passidomo, and other members asking them not support House Bill 9, and vote NO!


Chairwoman Passidomo (Republican)

(850) 717-5106

Twitter: @Kathleen4SWFL    kathleen.passidomo@myfloridahouse.gov

Vice Chair Hill (Republican)

(850) 717-5002

Twitter: @MikeHillfl    mike.hill@myfloridahouse.gov

Representative McGhee (Democrat)

(850) 717-5117

Twitter: @kionnemcghee    Kionne.McGhee@myfloridahouse.gov

Representative Berman (Democrat)

(850) 717-5090

Twitter: @loriberman    lori.berman@myfloridahouse.gov

Representative Burton (Republican)

(850) 717-5040

Twitter: @ColleenLBurton    Colleen.Burton@myfloridahouse.gov

Representative Dudley (Democrat)

(850) 717-5068

Twitter: @DwightDudleyFL    Dwight.Dudley@myfloridahouse.gov

Representative Metz (Republican)

(850) 717-5032

Twitter: @larrymetz    larry.metz@myfloridahouse.gov

Representative Moraitis (Republican)

(850) 717-5093

Twitter: @RepMoraitis    george.moraitis@myfloridahouse.gov

Representative Pigman (Republican)

(850) 717-5055

Twitter: @CaryPigman    Cary.Pigman@myfloridahouse.gov

Representative Stafford (Democrat)

(850) 717-5109


Representative Stone (Republican)

(850) 717-5022

Twitter: @RepCharlieStone    Charlie.Stone@myfloridahouse.gov

Representative Sullivan (Republican)

(850) 717-5031

Twitter: @voteforjennifer    Jennifer.Sullivan@myfloridahouse.gov

Representative Wood (Republican)

(850) 717-5041


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