Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum has unveiled a proposed immigration reform bill modeled after Arizona’s controversial law. Speaking to a group of voters, McCollum outlined his plan, stating his version of immigration reform goes further than the Arizona law as the bill would provide more tools for Florida judges and law enforcement dealing with undocumented foreign nationals. Judges would be able to consider a foreign national’s legal status when ruling on a defendant’s bond and undocumented foreign nationals might face longer sentences because of their status.
According to McCollum, his proposed legislation will require law enforcement officers to check suspected illegal immigrants’ status in the course of a lawful stop. Until now, this practice has been on a discretionary and voluntary basis. Foreign nationals would be required to provide documentation of their legal status and could face misdemeanor charges for failing to do so.
The legislation would make it a state crime for undocumented foreign nationals to seek employment in the state and will require Florida businesses to use E-Verify to confirm the employment eligibility of new hires.
To read a draft of the proposed legislation, click here.