Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum has unveiled a historically aggressive immigration bill proposal that he said would go "one step further" than Arizona’s controversial new law, which was recently stripped of its key provisions by a Federal judge.
Similar to Arizona’s legislation, McCollum’s proposal would require law enforcement personnel to verify the immigration status of individuals who they "reasonably suspect" of being an illegal immigrant. Furthermore, the bill would mandate that legal resident aliens carry their immigration documentation at all times or face up to 20 days in jail.
However, the legislation would go beyond Arizona’s measure by requiring businesses to utilize a national database to verify a person’s immigration status before hiring them. It would also allow judges to impose stiffer penalties on illegal immigrants who break the law.
"This legislation will provide new enforcement tools for protecting our citizens and will help our state fight the ongoing problems created by illegal immigration," said McCollum. "Florida will not be a sanctuary state for illegal aliens."
McCollum—a Republican who is in the midst of a heated primary election race for governor—was heavily criticized for unveiling his plan two weeks prior to the election, according to The Miami Herald.
"It’s clear the only way to get McCollum to take any action on anything is when he’s down in the polls," said Rick Scott, his opponent in the upcoming primary race.