Why Arizona-Style Immigration Law Stands Little Chance in Florida

JD Alexander.jpg
Florida Senate
Budget chairman Alexander voted against the bill last year.
As the U.S. Supreme Court debates the Arizona law destined to make life miserable for brown-skinned people, advocates on both sides of the immigration-reform issue are freaking outSenate Bill 1070 requires Arizona cops to detain immigrants they suspect are in the country illegally and check their status. Not carrying immigration papers in public would be a state crime. If the highest court in the land says this is constitutional, won't cops in the Sun-Baked State start doing the same thing?

No, probably not. Florida is crazy but not entirely stupid. Take state Sen. JD Alexander, the Republican budget committee chairman who last year voted against Florida's proposed anti-illegal immigrant bill, which never passed the state House. Alexander happens to be a citrus grower, and big growers do not want to lose their workforce of cheap, often-illegal labor. As he told the Miami Herald last May, "I probably know more about the reality of these issues than anybody else on the floor." Yes, Alexander knows an immigrant crackdown would hurt his pocketbook. It would also hurt the campaign coffers of all GOP lawmakers who rely on Big Agriculture to support them. Plus, in this presidential election year, Florida Republicans are looking to court Hispanic voters. Mass arrests of brown-skinned people would not help their cause.

Even Gov. Rick Scott, who campaigned for office promising an Arizona-style illegal immigrant crackdown, hasn't pushed hard to get a bill passed in the past two years. When questioned recently by the Orlando Sentinel, Scott instead talked about supporting a guest worker program for immigrants. Such a throwback to the Bracero era creates a whole new set of concerns for workers seeking a living wage, but it's better than forcing everyone with an accent to show their papers.

Could it be that Florida's elected officials are slightly more sane than Arizona's? Only time will tell.

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Dave Francis
Dave Francis

Illegal Immigration, tax fraud and future laws

Weighing oral arguments last week in the U.S. Supreme Court,offered left little option to doubt that Arizona’s S.B 1070 that the JusticeDepartment argument by Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli, that federalgovernment had sole jurisdiction over immigration?  However Arizona’s attorney, former U.S.Solicitor General Paul Clement, has repeated insistently that the state is notseeking to do anything more than enforce federal laws that the U.S. governmentisn’t managing. Clement argued that the law provides only for possibleimmigration law violators to be held to give the federal government the chanceto step in and prosecute them. Over the last several years, statesfrustrated with the country's porous borders have discarded the long-held misconceptionthat Congress is not liable for not confronting illegal immigration.


A few states have passed laws to enablelocal police to address the problem. It is obvious there would be littleneed for the states of Arizona grabbing the headlines, Alabama, Georgia,Indiana and South Carolina and the rest of the 45 states being bled by the 20million plus illegal aliens already here. No matter that the Pew Hispanic Centeranalysis of the numbers of illegal migrants is dwindling entering across theborder? If you can even believe it’s true? The outcome of Arizona’s battle withthe Obama administration could be a pivotal point in the states rights toenforce immigration statutes, which will protect their citizens from courtordered unfunded mandates.


NumbersUSA, organization with over amillion members reported this today: THIS WILL TURN YOUR BODY RIGID WITH ANGERAND FRUSTRATION.


Justreleased by Eyewitness News of Indiana's WTHR TV has revealed massive taxloophole that provides billions of dollars in tax credits to illegal aliens andpeople living in foreign countries. The loophole is called the Additional ChildTax Credit. It's a fully-refundable credit of up to $1000 per child, and it'smeant to help working families who have children living at home. EyewitnessNews has found many undocumented workers are claiming the tax credit for kidswho live in Mexico. A longtime Indiana tax consultant, who remains anonymousfor fear of reprisal, came to 13 Investigates to blow the whistle about thisnationwide problem involving illegal aliens who are filing tax returns.


"We're talking about a multi-billion dollar fraudscheme here that's taking place and no one is talking about it," taxpreparer said. The Internal Revenue Service says everyone who is employed inthe United States, even those who are working here illegally, must reportincome and pay taxes. Because illegal aliens are not supposed to have a socialsecurity number, the IRS created the individual taxpayer identification number,ITIN. A 9-digit ITIN number issued by the IRS provides both resident andnonresident aliens with a unique identification number that allows them to filetax returns.


This ITIN number is backfiring in a big way. Each spring,many illegal aliens are now eagerly filing tax returns to take advantage of theAdditional Child Tax Credit using their ITIN numbers to get huge refunds fromthe IRS. "We've seen sometimes 10 or 12 dependents, most times nieces andnephews, on these tax forms," the whistleblower told Eyewitness News."The more you put on there, the more you get back." The whistleblowerhas thousands of examples, and he brought some of them to 13 Investigates. Theexamples show that the tax filers had received large tax refunds after claimingadditional child tax credits for many dependents.


WTHR spoke to several illegal aliens who confirmed itwas easy to get the tax loophole credit. One of the illegal aliens admitted hisaddress was used this year to file tax returns by four other undocumentedworkers who don't even live here. Those four workers claimed 20 children liveinside the one residence and, as a result, the IRS sent the illegal immigrantstax refunds totaling $29,608. 13 Investigates asked the illegal alien whyillegal aliens should receive tax credits for children living in a foreigncountry.  "If the opportunity is there and they can give it to me,why not take advantage of it?" the illegal alien responded. Several of theillegal aliens told WTHR they were told it was legal for them to claim the taxcredit for a child who does not live in the United States. According to RussellGeorge, the United States Department of Treasury's Inspector General for TaxAdministration (TIGTA), the IRS has known about this scheme for years. 


"The magnitude of the problem has grownexponentially," he said. George has repeatedly warned the IRS thatadditional child tax credits are being abused by illegal aliens. In 2009, hisoffice released an audit report that showed ITIN tax filers received about $1billion in additional child tax credits. Last year, the inspector generalreleased a new report showing the problem now costs American tax payers morethan $4.2 billion.


What George finds even more troubling is the IRS has nottaken action despite multiple warnings from the inspector general. "Millionsof people are seeking this tax credit who, we believe, are not entitled toit," said the Inspector General. "We have made recommendations to theIRS as to how they could address this, and they have not taken sufficientaction in our view to solve the problem."


The IRS tells WTHR it can do nothing to change thecurrent system unless it gets permission from Congress. In other words,according to the IRS, closing the loophole would require lawmakers to pass anew law specifically excluding illegal immigrants from claiming additionalchild tax credits. Congressman Dan Burton (R-Ind.) is frustrated and ready toact.


Rep. Burton and dozens of other House Republicans haveco-sponsored a bill that would essentially authorize additional child tax creditsonly for US citizens. HouseResolution 1956 would require tax filers to provide a validsocial security number to receive an additional child tax credit. "Thisrampant abuse of hardworking taxpayer dollars is just wrong," said Rep.Sam Johnson (R – Texas), who authored HR 1956. "It's time we close thistax loophole and put a stop to the child tax credit sham." 


HR 1956 has sat idle in the House Ways and MeansCommittee for almost a year.


However, language from the bill is now included in apackage of proposed budget savings measures that House lawmakers are expectedto consider in May. While the budget package may have enough support to passthe House, it is expected to die a quick death in the Democratic-controlledSenate."This should not be a partisan issue because we're all concernedabout saving taxpayer dollars and not wasting them on fraudulent things likethis," said Rep. Burton.


It is not just Republicans who are concerned about the issues;Democrat Senators have taken action as well. 


Last fall, Senator Claire McCaskill (D- Mo.) sent aletter to IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman asking him to stop the agency'spayments of additional child tax credits to undocumented workers. "This isdeeply problematic and must be remedied," the senator wrote. "I'ma taxpayer, and the thought of me paying for 24 people who are living in onetrailer boggles my mind, especially when you tell me most of them are stillliving in Mexico. That's unconscionable." said Rep. Burton.


"It's cheating the American taxpayer," Burtonsaid. "We all believe in humanity and humanitarianism, but we've got a $15trillion national debt. We can't subsidize the whole world."


As the Congresscontinues to wrangle over mandatory E-Verify, the Obama Administration has issued a statement that it is gettingready to introduce a big expansion of the electronic application. A second law to support The Legal WorkforceAct H.R. 2885 is to amend the Birthright Citizenship Act of 2011 (H.R.140); thecountry cannot maintain in subsidizing billions of dollars being extracted fromthe 50 states? Bad politicians should be thrown out of office, notexcluding state Governors, Mayors, Judges and all elected officials, and replacethem with Fresh Tea Party leaders who will insure everybody gets their fairshare of the American Dream and enforce all laws attributed to the Constitutionand the Rule of Law. “NumbersUSA” is maintaining a data base of all relatedinformation and you should investigate their website for the latest news. Inaddition read the circulation of daily media from both sides of the aisle inCongress at “American Patrol”. Both these laws if enacted by Congress, ifpushed by the voters would without doubt begin the repatriation of unknownnumbers of foreign national back to their country of origin, by selfdeportation.


Voters must stipulate from GOPHouse speaker, John Boehner  (R-OH) and Dave Camp, (R-MI) the Chairman of thepowerful Ways and Means Committee to stop blocking the 50-state E-Verify bill.  They are disinclined to allow the E-Verifybill to stop illegal aliens from stealing Social Security numbers to obtainU.S. jobs. If you are really feeling vigorous, why don't you put in a call toone of Mr. Camp's offices: 202-225-3625 Washington, DC (Ways & Means)202-225-3561 Washington, DC (personal office) 202-224-3121 Washington, DC(Capitol switchboard) 989-631-2552 Midland, Mich. (district office)231-929-4711 Traverse City, Mich. (district office?)



The  ‘PEOPLE’S’ Constitutional Tea Party willenforce our immigration laws, that will represent the people, will introduce awell regulated farm bill so Guest Workers can arrive here and then mandatorydepart after their contract expires, with no amnesty. That the farming andagricultural commerce will pay the benefits for their labor and not the state’staxpayers.  There will no importation ofmigrant poverty anymore, cutting off access to welfare, food stamps, andsection 8 housing programs. Don’t need or should we accept any new low skilledworkers, instead we need to supply our own citizens with more occupationalprograms.  Further we must safeguard ourvoting system which has been compromised by the far left, its Liberalassociates and Democrats. These entities those are adamant on allowing nostates rights to demand the use of official picture ID to vote. Illegal aliensare voting and will again in local, state and federal elections. Another set ofregulations to amend, would be a careful examination of the current visa systemallowing around a million legal immigrants annually into the U.S. No furtherviolation can be tolerated from businesses and we should only permit thehighest brains in engineering, the sciences, mathematicians and computer technologyprofessionals to immigrate.

Copy and distributefreely 


The local police across the country can do what the AZ SB1070 advocates for. The SC explained that local police have the authority to inquire about one's immigration status.FL is participating in the federal Secure Communities Initiative, so everyone arrested is reported to the FBI and then ICE. If they are illegal residents, ICE may order an immigration hold. However the FL police aren't forced to arrest residents without identification (but they should be)


We need federal E-Verify or state by state E-Verify:Dave Camp, (R) the Chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, is refusing to release his hold on the 50-state E-Verify bill. His committee has jurisdiction over identity theft. He is unwilling to allow the E-Verify bill to stop illegal aliens from stealing Social Security numbers to obtain U.S. jobs. If you are really feeling energetic, why don't you put in a phone call to one of Mr. Camp's offices:202-225-3625 Washington, DC (Ways & Means)202-225-3561 Washington, DC (personal office)202-224-3121 Washington, DC (Capitol switchboard)989-631-2552 Midland, Mich. (district office)231-929-4711 Traverse City, Mich. (district office) Remember to vote AGAINST politicians that support illegal residents, over legal residents.


"Florida is crazy, but not entirely stupid."

Subsidizing workers for certain industries does not sound too bright to me.  Twenty years ago, it was mainly the agriculture industry that was being subsidized by taxpayers.  Today it has expanded to include construction, meat packing, landscaping, restaurants, and a few more.  I guess some people think that expanding that list to include another 15 or 20 industries would be pretty smart.

You know, some people really are "stupid" enough to believe that employers pay illegals very low wages so they can charge lower prices for their products and services.


If the highest court in the land says this is constitutional, won't cops in the Sun-Baked State start doing the same thing?  No, probably not. "Florida is crazy, but not entirely stupid". AU CONTRAIRE!  Just use what is being done to the taxpayers who have to depend on Citizens Insurance to protect their homes as an example and then make the same statement!

Lisa Rab
Lisa Rab

@wigglwagon. I agree with your point about subsidizing industries that pay low wages. I was pointing out that Florida legislators are "smart" enough to protect their own monetary interests. But that doesn't mean the policy they create is smart for the long term.


Chaz, even the Pope in Vadican City defends his border and doesn't permit unidentified, ILLEGAL people to enter. Those Swiss guards use real bullets. Try to get inside the Vatican without an ID.

Ask the ACLU if you can successfully refuse to identify yourself to a local police officer. Even they, will advise you to identify yourself and show your ID.

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