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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

On immigration debate day, a prayer for crop-pickers


Saul Lopez, (CQ), West Palm Beach, left,  protests against Senate bill 2040, Tuesday along with other protesters on the fourth floor of the Capitol outside of the Florida Senate. The Senate will debate the immigration bill Tuesday. Lopez, a native of Guatemala, picks crops in Palm Beach County. He is currently picking an orange crop.  "This bill threatens our rights," said Lopez. "Who do think does the hard work picking the food you eat," he said.   [SCOTT KEELER | Times]

The Rev. Brant Copeland of the First Presbyterian Church of Tallahassee have the morning prayer on the Senate floor Tuesday, invited by Sen. Evelyn Lynn, R-Ormond Beach, and made an allusion to the controversial immigration bill coming before the Senate later in the day:

"For teachers and first responders, for state workers and helpers of the disabled, for those who pick our crops and provide food for our tables..." Copeland said. And of lawmakers: "Open their eyes to reasonable arguments...Open their ears to the cries of the children...Work together for the good of all the people of Florida."

Copeland spoke in a news conference Monday on behalf of the Florida Council of Churches against SB 2040, saying religious leaders encourage empathy, keeping families together and helping the poor.

Photos: The final week of the 2011 legislative session

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 3, 2011 1:03pm]


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