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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Republicans: Florida spends billions on illegal immigrants

As Florida lawmakers prepare to introduce their own version of Arizona's strict immigration law, Republican state Rep. Ritch Workman has been championing the cause by painting the state's illegal immigrant population as the scourge of fiscal conservatism, business owners and taxpayers.

"All businesses and taxpayers face the unfair burden of providing federally mandated services to illegal immigrants, and putting the brakes on this noncitizen entitlement program will save Arizona a considerable amount of money," wrote Workman in a Florida Today opinion page article on June 6, 2010. "In Florida alone, more than $3.5 billion a year is spent on health care and criminal justice for illegal immigrants. Given this, I think it is time for Florida to follow Arizona’s lead."

$3.5 billion and change is a lot of money in a state that had to close a $6 billion budget gap in 2010, so PolitiFact Florida decided to take this claim on a ride through the Truth-O-Meter.

Read our ruling here.

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 10:45am]


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