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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Updated: Immigrant groups plan to protest Rep. Snyder's town hall meeting tonight

7

January

Immigrant organizations plan to make their voices heard tonight at a town hall meeting hosted by state Rep. William Snyder to discuss his proposed immigration bill in Palm City tonight. Among those participating are the Florida Immigrant Coalition, Students Working for Equal Right and the Palm Bech Coalition for Immigration Rights. According to a news release from the Florida Immigrant Coalition, Snyder's original proposal encouraged racial profiling by requring police officers to ask for proof of legal status to anyone who looks like an immigrant, but exempted people with Canadian passports. 

“It is impossible to enforce this bill without racial profiling Latinos, including Cubans and Puerto Ricans, our largest communities,” said Maria Rodriguez, executive director of the Florida Immigrant Coalition in a prepared statement. “Many Latino leaders see this as a slap in the face to their communities that work, spend money, and create jobs in the state."

Snyder had this to say about the immigrant advocates: “I am interested in hearing the views from both sides of this issue at this evening’s town hall meeting and addressing their concerns regarding immigration.  I plan to listen carefully to their input and suggestions and work toward comprehensive immigration reform that Floridians will agree is in the best interest of our state and furthers our goal of reducing illegal immigration.” 

Sen. Mike Haridopolos called for a meeting at 3 p.m. on Monday in Tallahassee to discuss immigration laws.

[Last modified: Friday, January 7, 2011 3:54pm]

    

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