Published: April 7, 2011
Opponents of the proposed "Florida-style" immigration legislation argue that these bills are nothing but draconian Arizona-style immigration laws "in disguise." That was the theme of a protest against the bills held April 1 outside Republican State Sen. David Simmons' Altamonte Springs office, where protestors donned Groucho Marx glasses and chanted "We are America!"
"Even though representatives are saying these are not Arizona bills, they're going to have the same consequences here in Florida," says Lariza Garzon of the National Farm Worker Ministry Youth and Young Adult Network. Garzon says that the bills would create unnecessary extra work for law enforcement.
The volume of immigration bills introduced this year is disheartening to Sister Ann Kendrick, who works for the Hope Community Center, an organization based in Apopka that helps immigrant families. "In the 40 years I've been working in the Central Florida community, I've never seen such a mean-spirited, vitriolic atmosphere," she says. "Part of me wants to stand on the border and say, ‘You're going to find more trouble here than is worth it.'"
As for us: We're headed back to the bathtub. Wake us up when the shitstorm in Tallahassee is over.
> Email Jeff Gore and Erin Sullivan