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Immigration Advocates Mobilize Against Trump Inspired Legislation In Florida

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Immigrants and their allies are working across Florida in order to defeat two anti-immigrant proposals in the state legislature.

We recently wrote about how two Republican representatives, Miami’s Carlos Trujillo and Yalaha’s Larry Metz, are sponsoring legislation inspired by Donald Trump’s toxic rhetoric.

One of those proposals, House Bill 675, would force local law enforcement to act as immigration agents and hold taxpayers responsible for the mandatory ICE detainers the will would mandate.

House Bill 675 made its way to the floor of the House of Representatives for a final vote this past Tuesday – but it was temporarily postponed by Representative Metz, and it is expected to resurface for a vote this upcoming week.

The following day, immigrants across the state used the bill’s delay to mobilize to voice their opposition to their elected officials.

In Miami, immigration advocates crowded the office of Republican Representative Jose Felix Diaz, urging him to oppose HB 675 on account that it would undermine the relationship between local law enforcement and Miami’s immigrant community.

Immigrants and residents in Tampa took to city hall, where they called a press conference in order to ask Mayor Bob Buckhorn to oppose HB 675.

“[HB 675] is going to create fear,” said Nancy Palacios, an organizer with the group Faith in Florida. “It’s going to create a lack of collaboration between the police force and the community, where people won’t want to report any kind of criminal activity or any kind of crimes because they would be scared to be asked their status.”

Advocates in Maitland visited the offices of Republican Representative Bob Cortes, where they delivered a letter signed by community leaders asking him to stand against HB 675. According to a report by Entravision, Representative Cortes has not taken a position on the bill as of yet.

While in Tallahassee, members from Young American Dreamers, the Florida Immigrant Coalition, LULAC Florida, and Florida AFL-CIO joined Democratic Senator Dwight Bullard and Representative Jose Javier Rodriguez at a press conference in the Florida State Capitol against HB 675.

As advocates await the return of HB 675 in the House of Representatives, they have used the extra time to demonstrate that they will not sit on the sidelines as Republicans try to enact anti-immigrant proposals in Florida.

And their efforts seem to be drawing national attention, as Democratic Presidential candidate Martin O’Malley weighed in on HB 675 via Twitter:

Follow the Florida Immigrant Coalition for news and updates on HB675.