Monday, April 13, 2009

Useless Bill of the Day

I am currently reading Florida Sen. Ronda Storms legislation. It's painful reading. SB 1890 stands out for legilating what we already have laws for. Storms wants to make it illegal to transport illegal immigrants.

An act relating to illegal aliens; creating s. 877.28, F.S.; prohibiting a person from knowingly or in reckless disregard of the law transporting or moving an illegal alien, concealing or harboring an illegal alien, or encouraging or inducing an illegal alien to enter or reside in this state; providing criminal penalties; providing that each violation of law is a separate offense; creating a rebuttable presumption when determining whether an alien is an illegal alien; requiring the Attorney General to negotiate with the United States Department of Homeland Security to designate law enforcement officers and others to act as qualified immigration officers; requiring such officers to have the knowledge and training to adhere to federal law relating to the functions of an immigration officer; requiring the act to be construed to be consistent with any applicable federal law; providing an effective date.

Florida is required to comply with federal immigration laws. Storms wants to sentence a person for each individual immigrant he or she smuggles in. The law is Draconian in reach. Any person accused of harboring an illegal immigrant can be sentenced to prison. Does this means if someone gets a roommate he is suddenly harboring a criminal?

The Department of Homeland Security estimated there was 11.6 illegal immigrants in 2008. The number of illegal immigrants increased by 37 percent from 2000 to 2008. The prison system can not keep up with the illegal immigrant population. Law enforcement can not go after illegal aliens unless there is political pressure or violent offenders. Police officers would rather go after violent criminals than migrant workers in Plant City. Which is exactly what the police should be doing. I have no problem with enforcing current immigration laws. I am not under any illusion enforcement will curtail people from coming into the country.

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