During his tough gubernatorial primary against Bill McCollum (R), Governor-elect Rick Scott (R-FL) touted his support for Arizona’s immigration law and proposed exporting the controversial bill to Florida. However, once he nabbed the Republican nomination, he “rarely mentioned the issue.” Even now that he has been elected governor of the Latino-heavy state, Scott hasn’t spoken much about the primary campaign promises he made on immigration up until this past week.
First, Scott told the Miami Herald that he’s “supportive of the concept of stopping citizens to ask them to show identification.” Then, in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer over the weekend, Scott echoed his previous comments and said that he still supports bringing an Arizona-style law to Florida:
SCOTT: If you’re in our state, in any state, and you’re stopped because you’re violating the law and asked for an ID — just like you and I would be asked — you should be able to be asked if you’re legal or not.
BLITZER: So you like the law in Arizona — you’d like to implement that in Florida?
SCOTT: You gotta make sure there’s no racial profiling, it’s gotta be fair. And, uh, but sure. We have to know who’s in our state. [...] If you’re violating the law you oughtta be asked if you’re legal or not.
BLITZER: You would sign it into law?
SCOTT: Depending on how it’s written, absolutely.
BLITZER: And if it’s written how it was in Arizona, you’d be willing to take the chances of boycotts of Florida?
SCOTT: I’ll make sure that there’s no racial profiling. I’ll make sure that it’s fair to all Floridians.
If Scott plans on signing off on the bill that was introduced by Florida State Rep. William Snyder (R), then it’s hard to imagine how he could possibly prevent racial profiling. The bill exempts all Canadian and Western Europeans from extensive scrutiny. Anyone who can provide a passport from Canada or the mostly Western European “visa waiver” countries will be “presumed to be legally in the United States.” “That language makes it clear that police are targeting only a specific minority,” Susana Barciela of the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center, told the Miami New Times.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) also vowed not to allow racial profiling to happen in her state when she signed off on the controversial immigration law, SB-1070. However, her word wasn’t enough to stop the state from losing millions of dollars as a result of an economic boycott against her state.
It also wasn’t enough to put former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s (R) mind at ease. The Denver Post recently reported that Bush expressed concerns that “if his children walked the streets of Phoenix they might look awfully suspicious to police.” Bush’s wife and the mother of his children is from Mexico.