Neil Lewis’ cramped immigration law office reverberates from the ring of yet another telephone call. Each anxious voice on the other end poses the same question.

“Is that going to come here?” Lewis said, echoing his clients’ apprehensive queries.

Across the state, Floridians are paying close attention as state lawmakers begin to craft a tough, Arizona-style immigration law that would grant law enforcement officials broad authority to act as immigration investigators.

Under the proposed law, criminal suspects and traffic law violators would need to show proof of legal residency if questioned. Insufficient documentation could result in a trip to a local federal detention center . . .

Critics of the law also bewail an inept immigration system . . .

“Our federal immigration system is currently broken,” said Ramzy Kilic, director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Tampa.

Lawmakers have yet to look at the potential costs of enforcing a Florida law. It would, however, mean a significant shift for many law enforcement departments. (More)


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