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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Immigration debate: a political minefield



For evidence of the political minefield that is immigration reform, look no further than the Florida Senate.

On one side is Senate President Mike Haridopolos, who is looking to attract tea-party conservatives to his Republican bid for U.S. Senate, along with others in the GOP — including Gov. Rick Scott — who want to show they are taking action to tackle illegal immigration.

On the other side are the state’s powerful Hispanic caucus and some of the biggest special interests in Florida: the Chamber of Commerce, Associated Industries of Florida, the Florida Catholic Conference, farmers and other agricultural interests. The clergy argues a crackdown would be immoral; the business groups worry it would be a blow to the state’s limping economy.

All of this puts Haridopolos in a bind. As Senate candidate, he doesn’t just need conservative voters: He needs cash. And groups like the chamber, AIF and U.S. Sugar have it. Full story here.

[Last modified: Friday, April 15, 2011 8:03am]


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