By Patricia Mazzei, Miami Herald, Naked Politics
MIAMI, FL - If you haven't been tuning into Spanish-language media in South Florida this week, you've been missing out on the increasing pressure on Hispanic Miami-Dade lawmakers to take a position on a pair of controversial immigration bills moving through the state Legislature.
Radio ads began airing on Wednesday calling out local legislators. A group of immigration advocates has been keeping track on how many members of the Miami-Dade delegation have said they are opposing the bill (18 of 24 surveyed, as of the last count by the Florida Immigrant Coalition).
Sen. Anitere Flores, the Miami Republican sponsoring SB 2040, has been making the rounds on TV and radio stations, defending her bill -- and criticizing its House counterpart, HB 7089, by Rep. William Snyder, R-Stuart and a former Miami-Dade cop.
On Thursday, Sen. Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah and the head of the Florida Legislative Hispanic Caucus, issued a statement saying he's willing to discuss Flores' bill. The statement referred to Snyder's proposal as an "Arizona-style bill."
"The issue of immigration reform in our state is critical and definitely requires more discussion," Garcia said in the statement. "One thing for certain, however, is my opposition to HB 7089, which presents a significant threat to individual freedom because of the potential of racial profiling."
"SB 2040 is not perfect; however, it offers some reasonable solutions to the perceived illegal immigration problems in our state," he added. "With further discussion, we may be able to compromise on achieving acceptable immigration reform that is friendly to economic growth."