In early May, the Florida Senate approved a new bill to control the illegal
immigration issue that has been a topic of interest for many states including,
Arizona, Alabama, and Georgia. The Florida Senate is still awaiting for
House approval to make this new bill official, but its impact has garnered
mixed reviews and even protests from immigration and civil rights groups.
Florida, being a major migration destination for most Caribbean and Latin
American countries, finds itself in the middle of this debate because
of the new laws introduced and the growing population of legal and illegal
immigrants. There are approximately
11 million illegal immigrants working in the United States.
Twenty other states are now considering following Arizona's suit with
new and improved laws addressing the immigration issue and illegals in
the country. These anti-immigration laws have been a controversial topic
for the past year because of the risk of abuse and potential racial profiling
that is arguably the "bigger" issue. These new laws would require
immigrants of all statuses to carry identification documents and immigration
papers to prove that they are legal to be in the United States.
The Florida immigration laws differ from the Arizona model and is said
to garner more support and less controversial attention. Individuals stopped
on suspicion of committing crimes will have their immigration status checked.
It will also require all private employers to use E-Verify, a federal
verification database. The new bill will require law enforcement to make
"a reasonable effort" in pursuing illegal immigrants when making
arrests and eventually send them to federal officials for deportation.
Illegal immigrants, a.k.a "violators," risk fines up to $2,500,
six months in jail and even deportation if discovered by law enforcement
officials using E-Verify. The new proposed laws address many aspects of
this issue, including bond rulings through sentencing. Immigration advocates
challenge the new laws, claiming that it would invite lawsuits from those
wrongly arrested or interrogated that were ultimately legal to be in the
United States, or were wrongfully suspected of committing a crime just
to check their immigration status.
The public's reaction to these new immigration laws varies. There have
been threats of boycotts in Arizona, which would greatly affect its economy.
The Obama Administration was forced to interfere because of how controversial
and unconstitutional some of the provisions were. Groups of legal and
illegal immigrants have voiced their opinions through protesting, arguing
that these new laws are unconstitutional and encouraged racism against
foreigners. Many challenge these laws, recognizing that most Americans
do not want the jobs that immigrants are working-whether it's agricultural
labor, construction or hotel jobs. Some argue that the immigration issue
is a federal responsibility, not a state responsibility.
What is clear is that many States have grown tired of the Federal Government's
inaction on the issue of immigration and States are now taking the initiative
of passing harsh laws that can dramatically affect legal and illegal immigrants.
It is important for legal immigrants and illegal immigrants to understand
their rights with these changes in the laws. It is imperative you seek
out an experienced Daytona Beach Immigration Lawyer to get advice on how
these changes may affect your status. If you have an opportunity to become
legal through a family based petition or you are a Legal Permanent Resident
and you want to Naturalize and become a U.S. citizen to avoid any potential
issues now is the time to seek out legal advice. If you or a loved one
has been arrested and detained on an ICE or immigration hold as a result
of these new laws it is critical you hire an attorney to explore the opportunity
to avoid a possible deportation through a possible
Cancellation of Removal.