Politics & Government

Sen. Bennett to file immigration bill modeled after Arizona's

Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, has submitted a draft request to Senate Bill Drafting on illegal immigration, modeled after the recently enacted Arizona law, he announced in a press release this afternoon.

“The goal of this bill,” Bennett said in the release, “ is to ensure that this country’s immigration laws are being enforced in Florida and to stop our government officials from turning a blind eye to illegal immigration.” He is proposing the legislation be considered in the 2011 Legislative Session, still months away. Gov. Charlie Crist announced a special session to convene next week, but that is to focus solely on the issues posed by the Gulf oil spill.

Provisions modeled after the Arizona law include allowing law enforcement officers who make a lawful stop, detention or arrest while enforcing another law to require information regarding citizenship if reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an illegal immigrant, Bennett aides wrote. The other provision allows law enforcement agencies to transport illegal immigrants into federal custody.

“The No. 1 job of government is to protect its citizens," Bennett said. "Proper documentation and adequate sharing of information can help prevent the entry and presence of illegal immigrants in Florida and the entire country.”

For more on this story, see Friday's Bradenton Herald.