New conservative immigration reform coalition emerges in Florida – Florida Politics (blog)
A new conservative coalition has formed in Florida seeking to push for immigration reform that would also oppose any mass deportations of undocumented immigrants.
Floridians for an Immigration Solution, chaired by Ed Moore, president of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida, announced Wednesday it wants to work with a Donald Trump White House and Florida’s congressional delegation to push for four immigration reform points that would first secure the borders, then overhaul legal immigration systems, while allowing most undocumented immigrants to stay.
The group’s leadership includes state Sen. Rene Garcia, Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernandez, Will Ward of the Seafood Harvesters of America, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Juan Zapata and Julio Fuentes, president of the Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, among others. It’s backed by New American Economy, a non-partisan group founded by Michael Bloomberg, Fox News CEO Rupert Murdoch, former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, and Walt Disney Co. President Bob Iger, and is one of a dozen such state coalitions emerging to address immigration.
On Wednesday, Moore and others in the coalition’s leadership argued that immigration is too critical to the economy in Florida and nationwide to not be immediately addressed. Moore spoke of talented international students, graduate students and doctoral students who would like to stay and work in the United States who wind up having to go home to work when their student visas expire; Ward and Fuentes spoke of the impact on small businesses if they lose current immigrant workers or cannot attract new ones. Others spoke of the benefits to the tax and Social Security system if millions of workers now paid under the table suddenly started paying in.
Rudy Fernandez, former special assistant to President George W. Bush, laid out the group’s four principals:
* Secure the borders first. If that must include building