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Wrong For Florida: Just Like Rick Scott, Carlos Lopez-Cantera Supported Arizona-Style Immigration Laws


“Rather than stand against Rick Scott’s thinly veiled racial profiling, Lopez-Cantera supported Scott’s anti-immigrant agenda.” – FDP Chair Tant


Tallahassee, FL — In 2011, Rick Scott had an ally in his fight to bring Arizona-style profiling laws to Florida: House Majority Leader Carlos Lopez-Cantera. Lopez-Cantera called the legislation “common sense” and a “reasonable and effective approach to immigration reform.”  

The measure, House Bill 7089, “contains some provisions similar to Arizona’s racial profiling law” according to the National Immigration Law Center, and would have allowed local law enforcement to determine anyone’s legal status if they have “reasonable suspicion.”

The two Miami Republicans on the Judiciary Committee, Rep. Frank Artiles and Rep. Jeanette M. Nuñez, voted against the bill, and Republican Sen. René García the Florida Hispanic Legislative Caucus Chair, said it would “lead to distrust” and “animosity” — but Lopez-Cantera abandoned his colleagues and stood with Rick Scott’s Arizona-style agenda, calling the bill “reasonable” and “looked forward” to its passage.

When he was campaigning in 2010, Rick Scott promised to bring Arizona-style profiling laws to Florida. As Governor, he fought exactly that kind of discriminatory immigration “reform.” Little wonder that he’s found a running mate who agrees with him completely. 

That’s why Hispanic advocacy groups aired radio advertisements calling out Lopez-Cantera for “betraying Florida’s Hispanics” by “supporting” an Arizona-style law.

 FDP Chairwoman Allison Tant said, “Rather than stand against Rick Scott’s thinly veiled racial profiling, Lopez-Cantera supported Scott’s anti-immigrant agenda. For three years, Hispanics have seen Rick Scott cut funding to the programs important to their communities, repeatedly threaten their right to vote, and advocate for discriminatory immigration laws. In November, Florida’s Hispanic families will hold him accountable.”



Cantera said that HB 7089 is “Common Sense” and Reasonable.” In a press release, Lopez-Cantera stated his support for HB 7089, calling the bill “common sense” and stating, “I look forward to watching this reasonable and effective approach to immigration reform work its way through the legislative process.” (Majority Leader Press Release, 3/10/11)
HB 7089 Contains “Provisions Similar to Arizona’s Racial Profiling Law.” (National Immigration Law Center, 3/22/11)
Republican Sen. René García, Florida Hispanic Legislative Caucus Chair, Condemned HB 7089. In a press release, Rep. García said, “We cannot sit idly by and allow local law enforcement officers to act as federal immigration officers. This would lead to distrust, animosity, and increased tension between residents and local law enforcement.” (FHLC Press Release, 5/3/11)
Hispanic Groups Attack Lopez-Cantera for “Betraying Florida’s Hispanics.” Three organizations — Democracia Inc., SEIU Florida and America’s Voice Education Fund — will begin airing Spanish-language radio advertisements calling out two Miami Republicans…The House bill, headed to a full chamber hearing, would require police to check the immigration status of a person who is subject of a criminal investigation if there is “reasonable suspicion” that the person might be undocumented. (Miami Herald, 4/20/11)

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