Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum proposed a sweeping immigration reform bill in his homestate this week that trumps even Arizona's notorious SB 1070 and would give Florida the distinction of being the state with the harshest stance on immigration in the United States.
McCollum, who is also the Republican Gubenatorial candidate, said of his new bill: "Arizona is going to want this law. We're better, we're stronger, we're tougher and we're fairer."
The bill requires immigrants to carry valid documentation on themselves at all times or face up to 20 days in jail and mandates police to ask for papers from anyone they believe could be an undocumented immigrant. The bill also mandates courts to hand down harsher sentences and set higher bail for anyone charged with a crime who lacks immigration documents.
"I am concerned that this could jeopardize civil liberties," state Cuban-American Rep. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, R-Miami (the House's majority whip) told the Miami Herald. Brendon Hensler, a spokesman for the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, echoed the Representative's concern and promised to challenge the new bill should it become law in the same way the ACLU has challenged Arizona's SB 1070.
"It is un-American and against our American values to mandate that police officers use racial profiling when they are performing their day to day duties," Hensler declared.