Earlier this month, we discussed President Barack Obama exercising his executive authority by ordering the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The DACA program will allow young immigrants who were brought into the country illegally by their parents to apply for a temporary deportation reprieve.
The United States Supreme Court handed down its long-awaited ruling on state immigration laws. People all across the country have been waiting for the ruling, including people in Florida. The Florida legislature considered several similar measures, especially last year. However, Florida lawmakers have not passed any similar measures. The high court upheld a portion of Arizona's state immigration law, while finding other parts unconstitutional under the doctrine of preemption.
The story of one undocumented immigrant from Mexico reads like some kind of odd application of the Perfect Storm. Multiple forces have stacked up against the man's very survival. The story does not come from here in Florida, but from the West Coast. An immigration I-9 audit of the company where the man worked resulted in the immigrant finding himself without a job. The man has been undergoing dialysis for roughly eight years due to kidney failure. Doctors say that the life-expectancy of someone in his condition is about six years.
The Florida Senate Higher Education Committee dashed hopes for the in-state college tuition bill aimed at allowing Florida residents who are the children of undocumented immigrants to receive equal treatment in college and university tuition. A lifelong resident of Florida, who is also a U.S. citizen, spoke before the panel encouraging the lawmakers to move the measure forward.
Immigration issues have been a hot-button topic at both the state and federal levels across the country. In the last post, this blog began a discussion of issues being considered in Florida this year related to immigration law. The discussion continues, with a look at several measures related to higher education in Florida.
Agents from U.S. Customs and Border Protection reportedly are stepping up checks for undocumented immigrants on Greyhound buses and Amtrak trains. The ID checks reportedly have not received due attention in the public media, until now. The Miami Herald reports a 19-year-old woman, bound for South Florida, was detained after border patrol agents boarded her Greyhound bus in Pompano Beach.
The immigration battles continue in federal courts over state laws that have passed across the country. Florida immigration attorneys are aware that lawmakers were unable to come to agreement on anti-immigration legislation during the most recent session. As many as five other states followed Arizona's lead in enacting laws to provide state authority on immigration matters. Arizona's law providing local law enforcement with the authority to essentially enforce federal immigration law has been blocked in the federal court system while the issue rises through the federal courts.
It is down to the last day for the current session in Tallahassee. After heated debate throughout the session the Florida Senate Tuesday voted down an amendment that would have required all Florida businesses to participate in the federal employment verification program known as E-Verify, or risk fines if a worker was found to be an undocumented immigrant.
Different versions of immigration legislation are under consideration the Florida House and the Florida Senate. The main difference between the two measures appears to be at what point in the process law enforcement will be required to check into an individual's immigration status. Both measures mandate that all employers in the state use the federal E-Verify system to check whether employees are legal residents.
Arizona's stand on immigration issues is not necessarily news. It is well known that Arizona enacted a tough immigration law that has brought protests and a federal court challenge to the law. The Arizona law requires police officers in the state to determine the immigration status of individuals stopped for questioning. Citizens and lawmakers in many states have watched as the events transpire related to the Arizona immigration litigation. Many states, including Florida are debating their own anti-immigration laws in light of the Arizona law.