[Editor’s Note: The following was reposted from Somos Republicans with permission.]
As the issue of SB1070 in the southwest is vanishing from state legislatures and return to the streets, in Florida things are just beginnings. Conservative border states like New Mexico and Texas carefully averted this issue, but all seems indicate that a large Hispanic non-border state wants to use the same illogical argument to pass an unconstitutional law under the false pretense of “security”. But, the real motivation behind the bill indeed has to do more with a new political shift, “ethnic” changes, and unions contracts–and nothing to do with illegal immigration in Florida.
Miami Republican Sen. Anitere Flores wants to pass SB 2040 because she argues that ‘things could be worse without her — a Cuban-American sensitive to the feelings of Hispanics — at the helm. “This year, an immigration law is going to pass,” Flores said this week…If I don’t do it, someone else will.” However, the bill will no impact Cuban-Americans who get political asylum or Puerto Ricans who are American citizens. And these two groups are now fighting over “Hispanic” political clout in south Florida.
As Politico points out, a power shift is under way, and Florida sees shift in Hispanic vote. “The Cubans are still there, and they still largely vote Republican. But their share of the state’s Hispanic population is being overtaken as an influx of Democratic-leaning Puerto Ricans to Central Florida reshapes the state’s political formulas.” Puerto Ricans’ escalating numbers already have helped Florida Democrats reach a crucial milestone: In 2008 — and for the first time in the state — more Hispanics registered as Democrats than as Republicans. The Puerto Rican community is much different from the Cuban community from an electoral standpoint. They vote Democrat rather than Republican, for the most part.”
But, of the most intriguing, and possibly why Ms. Flores thinks she can get away with this tough immigration bill that others Hispanic groups consider offensive, is the fact that “ these new Floridians, are motivated mostly by economic issues, unlike the foreign-policy-focused, anticommunist Cubans. Puerto Ricas are citizens, they’re not as fervent about immigration issues as other Hispanics”. The other factors is that the bill is loaded with so much federal pork for correction unions, and little oversight, that police and correction officers may indeed support this bill.
And it is not difficult to find the pork within Flores’ legislation. On page 1 of the bill, bullet 1 creates a mandatory the E-verify, but only in appearance because while it requires all businesses to use the program, on bullets 2 it gives an “exception from the requirements to register with the program ” to anybody willing to use an “authentication software ( I wonder who will get the contract for this software). So employers can avoid participating in the program if they take licenses only from states participating in the Real Act mandate. But this is already standard procedure. DHS already mandates that all state issue driver licenses use the Real ID program. With he exception of New Mexico and Washington state, all states were supposed to be enrolled in the program but some state got an extension until 2013. Nevertheless, the SB2040 is redundant and unnecessary under REAL federal program because driver licenses and ID cards need to be approved by DHS.
Furthermore, in bullets numbers 6, 7, 8 in the bill are a preamble to what would have been if AZSB1070 had passed. While the 287 (g) used to be debated and voted on by city council members,the SB2040 will encourage Department the of Corrections to actively seek contracts with thefederal government to conduct ICE duties. I am not sure if Ms. Flores received funds from the state Correction unions but all seems to indicates that she wants to grow the Correction union contracts.
The state, subsequently, will also have to build more prison to house all the “illegals”.
The bill essentially is not like SB1070, but it becomes like 1070 when the Correction officers and Department of Law Enforcements eventually will “perform all the actions reasonably necessary to meet the obligation of 287 (g)” if they indeed form a partnerships with the federal government with no oversights from city council members.
Among one of the chief objection to SB1070 by the 9th Court of Appeals was that the police officers do not have the right to detain people just because of “reasonable” suspicion of illegal status. Which, essentially is what SB 2040 does subsequently by giving Correction offices and “laws enforcement” the right to detain people under suspicion of “illegality”, which is unconstitutional. Furthermore, what Mr. Flores is doing with her bill is a full enlargement of the 287 (g) program via Correction and “Law Enforcement” unions. This bill will enable them to make their own contras with the federal government.
But 287 (g) program is already under scrutiny by Justice Department because the programs is largely flawed. That is why Arpaio in AZ was forced to singed a new agreement last year in which he agreed not to hunt non-criminal immigrants on the streets with federal money. last year, In a DHS report last by DHS office of Inspector General underlines (p.56) that only about 26% of the arrest align with the objective of the program. Moreover, The cost of the program, yet highly infective, has increased its cost 10-times over in 5 years (P.10). The purpose of the program is to “identify and remove criminal aliens who pose a threat to pubic safety” but the program is a failure because it does not focus on criminal aliens. Too, under 287 (g), 76% of the Officers are not trained properly.
Therefore, in this bill the only losers will be Hispanic immigrants and citizens that will be detained under any “reasonable” suspension of being in the country illegally, and that state which will have to build more jails to house all those detained if the bill becomes law. The big winners will the Correction and Law enforcement officers unions that will get more jobs and federal funds by directly contracting with the federal government under a failed federal program that is only 26% effective but spends 10-times more of its original budget. It is as though Ms. Flores’ bill has an affinity for “officers” unions, even if it is unconstitutional, highly infective, and a waste of tax payers money.
As the Miami Herald article points out, Ms. Flores is working with a Tea Party in the Florida Legislature to pass this bill. Similarly, Sen. Marco Rubio, a Tea party darling and the GOP’s Cuban wunderkind, won a majority of Florida’s Hispanic voters, but not of the non-Cuban Hispanic vote. Thus, the power shift that is under way in Florida among the Hispanic vote is not from Cubans to Puerto Ricans only; but also shows that old cadre of anti-Castro Cuban Republicans are no longer willing to stay within Hispanic structure and want to move into the Tea Party power movement.
Ms. Flores, is following the Marco Rubio Path: stay within the Cuban theme of “the son of exiles” and abandon other Hispanic issues since they are becoming Democrats–and therefore no interest on the harsh anti-Castro rhetoric–and build coalitions with the Tea Party activist who are also RepublicanBut the Tea Party is already winding down and the new generations of Cuban-American are also shifting from and ultra anti-Castro mantra to a more Americanized agenda, such as the economy wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. So Mr. Flores not only is gambling with the old “Hispanic” political structure, but she she also gamblingwith 2012 election because Florida is toss up state with 29 Electoral votes since other Hispanics and independents who consider these type of bills too extreme.
Maybe we can now say Adios to Republican President thanks to Mr. Flores and her Tea Party Amigos.
[Image By JimIrwin]