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Rick Scott's Condescending Pandering to Hispanic Voters

Tallahasse, FL — This week, Hispanic lawmakers pressed Governor Rick Scott on a top priority: allowing young Dreamers to pay the same in-state tuition at Florida’s state colleges and universities that all other Florida students pay. 

Rick Scott’s response? He’ll condescend to “consider” it.

Carlos Lopez-Cantera’s response? “I haven’t reviewed my voting record recently.”

Really? We knew they had vetting problems, but seriously?

“Rick Scott’s condescending promise to ‘consider’ in-state tuition for Dreamers is pure election-year pandering.  Rick Scott, a strong advocate for Arizona-style immigration reform, has never been on the side of undocumented immigrants. Even worse, his running mate claims can’t even remember this key priority of the Hispanic community,” said Florida Democratic Party Political Director Christian Ulvert.

“In November, Florida Hispanics will remember Rick Scott’s record – especially his record of abandoning the Hispanic community,” added Ulvert.

Improving education is vitally important to the future of our state, and the crippling obstacle of out-of-state tuition is punishing smart kids who have always called Florida home. This is not fair to them, and it is not fair to Florida’s future.

This isn’t the first time Rick Scott has hurt Florida’s Hispanic community, — their misguided agenda could not be more wrong for Florida’s middle class. Rick Scott supports a radical Arizona-style immigration law, has cut billions from education, pushed a voter purge that heavily targeted the Hispanic community, and enacted a voter suppression act that forced people to wait more than five and six hours to simply cast a vote. 



2014: “Lopez-Cantera was asked to state what his position was on in-state tuition when he was in the House, including majority leader his final two years. His reply: “I haven’t reviewed my voting record recently.” During the 2012 session, he declined to meet with a delegation of immigrant families who camped outside his office, seeking his support to have the bill heard in the House; it wasn’t.”

2013: Scott vetoes the Dreamers’ Driver’s License bill that would have improved the everyday lives of thousands of undocumented immigrants.

2012: Scott tries to purge over 180,000 Floridians from the voter rolls, nearly 60% of whom were Hispanic.

2011: Scott supported $1.3 billion in cuts to education. In 2011, Lopez-Cantera voted to cut $1.3 billion from Florida’s public schools. Thousands of teachers were fired, class sizes increased, and classes were cut from public schools across Florida.

2011: HB 7089 Contains “Provisions Similar to Arizona’s Racial Profiling Law.”

2011: 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.” 

2011: 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. 

2011: 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.”

2011: Scott signs the Voter Suppression Act into law, and Carlos Lopez-Cantera voted with him. In 2012, the law causes lines at the polls five and six hours long on Election Day — with some of the longest waits in Hispanic precincts.

2010: While campaigning for governor, Rick Scott voiced enthusiastic support for Arizona-style immigration laws.

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