REP AMBLER CRACKS DOWN ON ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION
There are indications that the scope of the Legislature’s Special Session in September will be expanded to deal with additional issues of great importance to Floridians. I can think of no issue of greater importance than meaningful immigration reform. As Chairman of Public Safety and Domestic Security in the House of Representatives, I am calling for action now as immediate attention must be paid to the illegal immigration issue which is plaguing our great state.
One of the most basic duties a government owes its citizens is to ensure the safety of the public by keeping them safe. I believe this duty also includes ensuring the economic security of the state. Communities statewide have been burdened with the cost of paying for those who willfully violate our immigration laws. With a Federal Government unable to fulfill its major responsibilities, the Florida Legislature has an opportunity to make an immediate difference by addressing this problem during the upcoming Special Session.
Fundamentally, the problems we are facing are a failure of the Federal Government. There is no greater mission assigned to our Federal Government than to protect and secure the sovereign borders of this nation. Yet, every day we see reminders that our borders and ports of entry are vulnerable.
I have heard the frustrations of law enforcement officials around the state regarding the struggles that they are facing because of the unlawful activities directly related to illegal immigration.
Florida has a longstanding history of welcoming immigrants, and that is a tradition I believe we should continue. The American story itself is one in which immigrants have always played an important role. However, the problem of illegal immigration has reached historic proportions, both abroad, as well at home. According to a Pew Hispanic Center report titled “A Portrait of Unauthorized Immigrants in the United States” (April 14, 2009), there were 11.9 million unauthorized immigrants in the United States in 2008. 1,050,000 of these unauthorized immigrants live in Florida.
The immigration reform bills I have filed for the consideration during the Special Session will address this issue. Now is the time to take the measures necessary to restrict illegal immigration so that we can ensure the safety and security of all Floridians in the future.
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