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Governor Scott to seek Florida immigration bill in 2012

As states, the federal government and the courts wrangle with a record number of new state immigration laws, Florida Governor Rick Scott says he believes the legislature will come to terms with a Florida law in 2012. Governor Scott said Friday he will continue to pursue a Florida measure to crack down on undocumented immigrants in Florida.

After a hotly contested debate in the last legislative session, lawmakers in Tallahassee were unable to agree on the details of several proposals. Governor Scott says he intends to seek a law giving local law enforcement agencies to have state authority to check the immigration status of persons in Florida. However, the Governor says he remains undecided on the issue of whether or not to mandate private businesses in the state participate in the federal E-Verify program during the employment eligibility verification process.

The E-Verify system is available for private businesses nationwide on a voluntary basis. As one of the first acts Governor Scott did when he took office was sign an executive order requiring state agencies and their contractors to use the E-Verify system.

Opposition to the E-Verify system caused much of the debate in Tallahassee during the latest legislative system. The Florida agriculture and hospitality industries showed opposition that many say led to the legislative attempts to pass an immigration bill to fail. Scott now says he intends to speak to business leaders in the state before he decides whether to seek an E-Verify provision from the legislature in the 2012 session.

Governor Scott says "We have to look at what impact it has on our industries. Ultimately, I don't want to do anything that will end up in any racial profiling or anything unfair to legal immigrants."

Source: Miami Herald, "Gov Scott to push for Fla immigration law in 2012," Laura Wides-Munoz, Aug. 19, 2011

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