12 Aug 2010

Tough measures proposed for illegal immigrants in Florida

3:49 pm on 12 August 2010

Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum has proposed immigration legislation against illegal immigration that could become the toughest in the United States.

The proposal would require police to check a suspected illegal immigrant's status while enforcing other laws.

The BBC reports the proposal is similar to a disputed law introduced in part in Arizona.

A federal judge in Arizona last month issued a temporary injunction blocking elements of that law from coming into effect - including a requirement that police check the immigration status of suspected criminals.

Enforcement officials in Florida are currently allowed to check a person's immigration status, but are not required to as they would be under the proposed new law.

The legislation would also require Florida businesses to use a verification system to ensure new employees are legally authorised to work and increase penalties for illegal aliens who commit crimes in

Florida.

A statement issued by Mr McCollum's officealso says illegal aliens would face increased prison terms in Florida under the revised legislation.

The BBC reports Florida is a migration hub for immigrants from the Caribbean and Latin America.

Mr McCollum is a Republican running for governor. He said at a event on Wednesday he thought Arizona was "going to want this law".

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