Counting immigration votes in the Florida Senate?
The Florida Senate originally planned to meet on Saturday -- possibly to consider a controversial immigration crackdown that has drawn throngs of protesters to the state Capitol this week.
But then Senate President Mike Haridopolos, who wants to make changes to SB 2040, cancelled the Saturday session, prompting questions as to whether the chamber would have enough votes to pass a revamped version of the bill. Of course, it's impossible to get a head count when Senate leaders have not released their updated proposals.
Anything considered too hard line would be a non-starter for members of the Miami-Dade delegation and likely most Democrats. A couple of Republicans from outside of Miami-Dade have also said they are troubled by the ideas mentioned by Senate leaders.
On Friday, Sen. Anitere Flores -- the Miami Republican who initially carried the bill before Haridopolos gave it to Sen. JD Alexander, R-Lake Wales -- said immigration is riddled with conflicting interests.
"This is a severely complicated, complex issues where there are hundreds of different people that have hundreds of different opinions. There are employment provisions. There are law enforcmenet provisions. There are business owner provisions," she said. "And there are just individual human emotions. There are political considerations. All those considerations are all there. To try and make that into a bill that you can get a majority of votes on in the House and the Senate is a problem."
--PATRICIA MAZZEI AND MARY ELLEN KLAS