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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Haridopolos schedules meeting on immigration



Senate President Mike Haridopolos announced today that he has scheduled a meeting on immigration for Jan. 10 at 3 p.m. The meeting will be led by Sen. Anita Flores, chair of the senate judiciary committee, and focus on "information-gathering," according to a news release. "It is critical that senators collect information in a comprehensive and dispassionate manner before debating the complexities of immigration policy," Sen. Hardipolos said in a prepared statement. "My goal is for facts, rather than feelings, to guide us through this process."

Already multiple bills have been filed on the topic. They include a proposal by Republican Sen. Mike Bennett that would require law enforcement officers to request citizenship information under certain circumstances; bills from Democratic Sen. Gary Siplin and Democratic Rep. Dwight Bullard that would give in-state tuition to some undocumented students; and a bill from Republican Sen. Nancy Detert that would prohibit state agencies from contracting with busnesses that don't participate in a program to verify its workers are legal.

Bennett's bill says that if a law enforcement officer stops someone and has "reasonable suspicion" that the person is unlawfully in the U.S., a "reasonable attempt" shall be made to check immigration status. The bill also requires anyone arrested to have immigration checked before release.

[Last modified: Monday, January 3, 2011 2:04pm]


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