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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Immigration reform to get 'dispassionate debate,' Haridopolos promises



Senate President Mike Haridopolos said Tuesday that while immigration reform will be a "high profile" issue next legislative session, the bill proposed by Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Sarasota, and modeled after the Arizona immigration plan will be only one of "many bills that we file on immigration."

Rather than accept any single proposal, Haridopolos said the Senate plans to conduct at least three hearings on the issue with the Senate Judiciary Committee chaired by Miami Republican Anitere Flores.

"I want to do it in a very detached unemotional way if possible,'' he said. "I really believe as an academic, and as a person who tries to get to the facts, [we need] to have a very dispassionate debate about a very passionate issue -- and that's where both sides can tell their story unmolested." 

The goal, he said, is to have facts "on the table and all the hyperbole will hopefully be moved off." He said that  "Floridians want us to address this issue and people want to know the facts because they hear the usual clamor around these cable TV shows."

[Last modified: Wednesday, December 8, 2010 5:38pm]


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