Gainesville weighs in on immigration issues

In unanimous votes, Gainesville city commissioners weighed in on two immigration issues Thursday.

First, they decided to enter an amicus curiae – or friend of the court – brief against the Arizona immigration law that is headed to a U.S. Supreme Court hearing.

Mayor Craig Lowe brought forward that request. He said there were concerns of an unfunded mandate  when a state government requires  a local government’s police officers to  enforce a federal law. Lowe said he also felt Arizona’s  law “undermined” the relationship between law enforcement and immigrants.

Following that, Commissioner Randy Wells turned his attention to  a Florida  law that failed during the last legislative session. It would have allowed US-born children of illegal immigrants to pay in state college tuition as long as they graduate from a Florida high  school they attended for  at least two years.

Wells argued that political posturing and attempts to create divisiveness were rampant among the legislators who opposed the law. Commissioners voted to support the bill- if it comes back next session- as part of their legislative agenda.

Both voted passed 6-0, with Commissioner Todd Chase absent.


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