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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Arizona-style immigration law in trouble



Gov. Rick Scott's campaign pledge to bring an Arizona-style immigration law to Florida faces an uncertain future in the Legislature, with the bill's chief Senate sponsor expressing doubts about the controversial measure. 

"There probably will not be an Arizona-immigration style bill that passes the Florida Senate," said Sen. Mike Bennett, a Bradenton Republican.    

Bennett said he's deeply concerned with the part of the bill that's most  identified with Arizona's law: The requirement that local police officers with  ‘‘reasonable suspicion'' attempt to determine a person's immigration status during  a routine traffic stop or arrest.    

Echoing civil libertarians and Hispanic lawmakers, Bennett said the measure  could lead to racial or ethnic profiling. Though the bill explicitly bans  discrimination, he said it might not be enough.     "I might not even vote for it myself," said Bennett, adding that he copied  much of the Arizona law "to start the conversation'' about immigration reform.     

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[Last modified: Tuesday, January 11, 2011 12:34am]


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