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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Hot talk on immigration bills, but long odds



At state capitals across the country, frustrated lawmakers have filed hundreds of bills to crack down on illegal immigration just one year after the congressional stalemate.

The topic is ready-made for Republican lawmakers in an election year. And Tuesday, six bills were aired before a Florida House panel.

Among the ideas: require police to report suspected undocumented immigrants, prohibit government benefits for adult undocumented immigrants, and even give criminals the option to be deported back to their home countries.

But the efforts are going nowhere — a reality that reflects the state's immigrant-dependent tourism and agricultural industries, and the political power of South Florida and its deep immigrant roots.

"There is nothing the state of Florida can do unilaterally to solve global warming. And there is nothing we can do unilaterally to solve immigration," said Marco Rubio, the Miami Republican who is the first Cuban-American to become House speaker. (story here)

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 10:49am]


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