Florida Tries to Out-Arizona Arizona

From the Miami Herald:

Florida Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill McCollum unveiled a sweeping immigration bill Wednesday that in some ways goes further than Arizona’s controversial law to apprehend undocumented workers and residents.

The move could propel Florida to the forefront of a heated national debate on immigration policy.

“Arizona is going to want this law,” McCollum said. “We’re better, we’re stronger, we’re tougher and we’re fairer.”

The proposed law would require immigrants to carry valid documentation or face up to 20 days in jail and would allow judges to hand down stiffer penalties to illegal immigrations who commit the same crimes as legal residents.

Once again, my home state goes out of its way to show that it can be every bit as dumb and shortsighted as the other 49.

Anyone from Florida would recognize the laundry list of negative consequences of “cracking down” on illegal immigration. The Miami economy alone would collapse.

As far as imposing stiffer penalties on illegal immigrants, what would be the purpose? Don’t they already get deported if they break the law? Maybe I’m missing something here, but I highly doubt that any of the people fleeing their countries to come here might be deterred by the fact that they might get a few extra years in jail compared to lawbreaking citizens.

But what could it hurt? you might ask. Do you have any idea how much it costs to keep someone incarcerated? For chrissake, just let them live here. If they break the law, deport them, but don’t waste taxpayer money enacting measures that aren’t at all likely to produce any conceivable positive result.

This bill reeks of Jacksonville, by the way.

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