Florida 2008 Legislation Archive

This page provides history of the efforts of Floridians to enact immigration enforcement legislation in the 2008 Florida Legislative Session.  The result was that legislation was thwarted by House Speaker Marco Rubio.

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Calls Needed to Move Florida Legislation

Time is running short!

The Florida  House is considering six bills to address illegal immigration.  The bills were dead but concerned citizens put pressure on Speaker Rubio to have a first hearing (State Affairs workshop) on the bills which was held Tuesday, April 8, 2008.   

At this time there has been no notification of any hearing by the House Govt Efficiency & Accountability Council, the next step after the State Affairs Hearing.  We must now demand the hearing where the elements of six bills will be combined into a Proposed Council Bill (PCB).  Now the House leadership is blaming the Senate for inaction so calls are needed to Senators as well.   


Rep. Marco Rubio, Speaker of the House,  (850) 488-1450, (305) 442-6939

Rep. Frank Attkisson, Chair Government Efficiency & Accountability Council, (850) 488-8992, (407) 943-3077 

Rep. David Rivera, Chair Rules & Calendar (850) 488-7897, (305) 227-7630, (239) 434-5094  

Rep. Adam HasnerMajority Leader, (850) 488-2234, (561) 279-1616


Senator Pruitt, President of the Senate, (850) 487-5088, (772) 344-1140, (561) 747-1166
Senator Dockery, Chair Criminal Justice, (850) 487-5040, (863) 413-2900
Senator Dean,  Chair Military Affairs and Domestic Security, (850) 487-5017, (352) 860-5175, (352) 873-6513 
Despite the odds concerned Floridians were able to resurrect the dead bills.  We still face huge obstacles but we MUST keep up the pressure.   

The legislature may pass some legislation on human smuggling and gangs, but the legislature is deluding themselves if they think that  the problem will be solved without provisions in the six bills like E-verify.

If the 2008 Florida Legislature fails to enact anti-illegal immigration measures this year, it is possible that the next wave of illegal aliens could come from states that have enacted such measures.  Illegal immigrants leaving AZ, Oklahoma; going to Texas. 

The Florida Legislature is planning budget cuts that will reduce services to citizens and immigrants (legal by definition) but so far has failed to address the costs of illegal aliens.  There should be no budget cuts without immigration enforcement! 

 Two relevant articles on a recent cost study are:

Report says immigration costly

The Real Cost Of Immigration


It is outrageous that the 2008 Legislature, so far, plans budget cuts to penalize citizens leaving illegal aliens unscathed but the Legislature may even reduce the penalties to illegal aliens who drive unlicensed!!

Bill eases up on drivers with suspended licenses:

Hundreds of thousands of Floridians who drive every day on suspended and revoked licenses, or without any license at all, could soon get a break from the state Legislature.

The Senate bill reduces the penalty on offenders convicted more than twice from a felony to a misdemeanor. The maximum jail sentence would be 60 days, down from the current maximum of five years in state prison. Drivers previously convicted of a violent felony would still face the tougher guidelines now in place.

More than 1.8 million Floridians currently have their driving privileges suspended or revoked, according to the state Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. A 2003 study by the American Automobile Association found that motorists without a valid driver's license are five times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than those properly licensed.


 A BIG THANKS to the about 30 activists from across Florida who attended the State Affairs Workshop on April 8, 2008.  Their willingness to spend the time and money to attend shows their grave concern about this issue.  Although inadequate time was allocated to speakers,  the presentations were accurate, well done and on issue.  State Affair committee members and others were given Florida's Illegal Immigration Crisis document which is a two inch thick compilation of the costs and detrimental impacts of illegal immigration upon Floridians.

You can view the nearly three hour video of the State Affairs Committee Hearing if you have broadband.  The first 1 hour 17 minutes can be skipped as it is primarily Florida agencies describing their role in the issue. The later portion includes speakers from both sides as well as the "anti-Hispanic" allegation from Rep. Zapata and a defense of illegal immigration by Rep. Rivera.   An analysis by a concerned Floridian is available.

In addition to bill sponsors Brown, Adams, Kravitz, Williams, Gilbert and Harrell, other supportive comments can be viewed from the video at:

Rep Hooper, 2 hr, 34 min
Rep Dorworth, 2 hr, 35 min
Rep Schenk, 2 hr, 39 min

The most telling testimony was that of Rep. Rivera who is a personal friend of Speaker Rubio and Chairman of the powerful Rules Committee.  Although not a member of the State Affairs committee, Rep. Rivera was allowed to speak as is often allowed.  One can safely assume that Rep. Rivera testified at the behest of Speaker Rubio.  Rep. Rivera made a number of ridiculous statements in defense of illegal immigration including an inaccurate contention about the taxes paid by illegal aliens.  Illegal aliens may pay consumptive taxes but it is income taxes that are substantially not paid.  Of course, he failed to mention costs.  The point is that Rep. Rivera's defense of illegal immigration is a strong signal that Speaker Rubio holds the same position.

Statements of Elected Officials:

Speaker of the Florida House Marco Rubio:


"There is nothing the state of Florida can do unilaterally to solve global warming. And there is nothing we can do unilaterally to solve immigration," said Marco Rubio, the Miami Republican who is the first Cuban-American to become House speaker.

Rules Chair David Rivera:

Video of Rep Rivera at State Affairs Workshop on April 8, 2008

Transcript of Rep Rivera at State Affairs Workshop on April 8, 2008

Rep Zapata:

Video of Rep Zapata at State Affairs Workshop on April 8, 2008

Transcript of Rep Zapata at State Affairs Workshop on April 8, 2008



Martin Memorial Testifies to Illegal Alien Health Care Costs

Miami Developer Jorge Ramos Testifies to Miami's Illegal Immigration Problems

Links to newspaper coverage of the State Affairs Hearing:

Lawmakers consider immigration-related bills

Fla. House urged to pass immigration bills

Immigration bills get first hearing, but time running short

Illegal immigrants in prisons could be deported

Harrell still hopeful on immigration bill

Zapata and Rivera: immigration bills take "anti-Hispanic undertone"

Immigration bills face long odds in state House

Miami-Dade lawmakers stymie immigration bills

April 17, 2008



Proponents of illegal immigration

April 7, 2008


Remain on issue

April 3, 2008

Summary of the Bills

The six bills are a limited and reasonable response to Florida's illegal immigration crisis.  Some of the six bills have duplicate provisions.  Here are a few highlights of the bills ( * = FLIMEN priority bill):

HB 73 * - This bill is a version of the successful Oklahoma bill.  This comprehensive bill would require contractors to state and local governments to use the E-verify system.  It requires verification of immigration status of persons confined for DUI or BUI.  It should be noted that HB 73 would not require E-verify for private contractors as Arizona now requires. 

HB 159 * - Requires E-verify for contractors to state and local governments.  Requires agencies & political subdivisions of state to verify lawful presence in U.S. of persons who have applied for state or local public benefits, or for federal public benefits, that are administered by agency or political subdivision.

HB 571 - Requires law enforcement officers and others to report to Immigration and Customs Enforcement office of U.S. Department of Homeland Security suspected illegal aliens arrested, detained, or convicted of felony; requires law enforcement agencies to inform each law enforcement officer of duty to cooperate with federal officials concerning federal immigration laws.

HB 577 - Requires reclassification of felony or misdemeanor for second or subsequent offense by illegal or undocumented alien unlawfully in US after deportation; provides for severity ranking; defines "illegal or undocumented alien"; requires DOC to provide ICE certain information concerning inmates suspected of being illegal or undocumented; requires DOC to transfer illegal or undocumented aliens to ICE upon completion of sentence; provides for DOC transfer of illegal or undocumented aliens voluntarily choosing to return to country of origin.

HB 821 * - Requires E-verify, requires law enforcement officers to report unlawfully present felons to ICE;  seeks federal reimbursement, requires proof of legality to obtain Florida benefits,  prohibits illegal alien hiring halls, and prohibits sanctuary cities.

HB 1247 - Requires DOC & administrator of each county or municipal detention facility to train personnel processing inmates in identification of false or fraudulent immigration status documentation & other indicators of illegal presence in US; requires examination of each incoming inmate's immigration status; requires notification of federal officials whenever it is suspected that inmate is not in country legally.

Arizona, Georgia, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Missouri now mandate the use of E-Verify for either public or private employers to confirm the legal status of workers.  The proposed Florida bills are limited in impact as none of the bills require E-verify for private employers, i.e. those not contracting with a governmental entity.  E-verify addresses the core problem of illegal immigration - the job magnet.  Other provisions of these bills address core enforcement problems such as reporting immigration status of felons to ICE.  These are good bills focusing on core problems with limited impact and these bills should be enacted!!

This is truly a grassroots effort where Floridians will have to take it upon themselves to secure Florida's fate.  It will be YOU that make the difference in Florida. 

More information follows in the Florida Legislation section.

April 16, 2008

Videos New Merchandise Item

April 18, 2008

Please make some important calls for SAVE Act.

March 14, 2008

Some excellent legislation has been proposed to deal with Florida's illegal immigration crisis.



  • HB 73 *                               Florida Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act of 2008

  • HB 107 / SB 624 (SB 424) Human Smuggling

  • HB 159 / SB 388  *             Florida Security and Immigration Compliance Act

  • HB 571 / SB 540                Felons / Enforcement of Federal Immigration Laws

  • HB 577 / SB 1086              Illegal or Undocumented Aliens

  • HB 821  *                            Illegal Immigration (features) (petition) (press conference)

  • SB 124 (withdrawn)          Aliens / Unauthorized Employment

  • HB 1247 / SB 2738            Immigration Status of Inmates

* Priority Bills

April 16, 2008

Vote NO on Amendment 1

 Florida voters defeated Amendment 1!!

Amendment 1 on the Florida ballot for the General Election on November 4, 2008 asks voters whether or not to remove a clause from the Florida Constitution dealing with property ownership by "aliens ineligible for citizenship."  The ballot question needs 60 percent approval for passage.

Quick Voter Guide on Amendment 1

If you like political correctness and don't have concerns about sovereignty


If you dislike political correctness and do have concerns about sovereignty


FLIMEN recommends a NO vote on Amendment 1.   FLIMEN believes the Amendment 1 is essentially an exercise in political correctness and there are reasons to keep the clause in the Constitution even though the power has not yet been used. 

FLIMEN has found the following points to be salient:

  • The driving forces for Amendment 1 are the Organization of Chinese-Americans, Democrats and newspaper writers.

  • Although the "vestiges" of the alien land law may have been racially motivated, there has not been proof that the law per se is racist.   The clause "aliens ineligible for citizenship" is not racially discriminatory and the case law referenced by the proponents may not be relevant in new situations brought about by globalization.   As in so much of the obsessive racist name-calling that masquerades as a national debate on the immigration/invasion issue the definition of  "racism is when you disagree with a liberal" seems to be the common use definition in this ballot question as well.

  • Florida Democrat Senator Geller, the ballot question sponsor, might have a point that the ballot question is "purely symbolic" except that there are reasons to believe that the clause potentially could be useful, if not damaging if removed. 

The key to this ballot question is not the history of the law but realization of "aliens ineligible for citizenship."  Given that our bumbling, dysfunction federal government has failed to secure our borders, is failing to protect our assets from foreign ownership and has failed to protect American workers from the illegal invasion, it seems plausible that Florida might someday want the power to restrict property ownership from those defined by the list below.

Under current U.S. immigration law, aliens ineligible for citizenship include aliens who:

• Have a communicable disease of public health significance;

• Have failed to present documentation of certain vaccinations;

• Have a physical or mental disorder that may pose a threat to the property, safety, or welfare of the alien or others;

• Abuse drugs;

• Have been convicted of a crime of moral turpitude;

• Have a conviction relating to controlled substances;

• Are believed to have been involved in the trafficking of a controlled substance or certain chemicals;

• Have engaged in prostitution or intend to engage in prostitution in the United States;

• Intend to engage in an unlawful commercialized vice in the United States;

• Have committed a serious criminal offense in the United States, but exercised immunity from prosecution;

• Have, as a foreign government official, been involved with certain severe violations of religious freedom;

• Have been involved with the trafficking of persons;

• Have been involved with money laundering;

• Intend to engage in espionage, or sabotage, or export certain prohibited technology or information or engage in other unlawful activity;

• Intend to act in opposition to, or for the purpose of controlling or overthrowing, the Government of the United States by force, violence, or other unlawful means;

• Have engaged or intend to engage in terrorist activity;

• Have been involved with terrorist activity;

• Have been a member of a totalitarian party or the Communist party;

• Have participated in Nazi persecutions or genocide;

• Have unlawfully entered the United States or failed to attend a removal hearing or sought admission into the United States through fraud; or

• Have falsely claimed to be a U.S. citizen.

Quotations from two prominent persons who oppose Amendment 1 are provided.

1) Florida Republican Representative Dennis Ross who voted against the bill to put the question to an election contends the constitutional power potentially could be useful.


"In the global environment we live in, when we see a lot of foreign interests buying up property in the United States, I think we should still have some control," said Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Lakeland. "At least now, we still have the ability to regulate it."

Ross said there may be lawful, reasonable ways of enforcing that provision against people who are disqualified for citizenship today, such as terrorists and human traffickers.

"If they're ineligible, that should be a red flag to us that maybe we don't want them as property owners in the state of Florida," said Ross, who sits on the Safety and Security Council, which heard the proposal in 2007. "Especially if we are talking about homeland security and protecting our interests."

Even if the origins of the alien land law are racist, he said, that does not mean automatically that it can serve no purpose now. A land purchase by terrorists or other dangerous foreign interests "could be masked as a very innocent group of foreigners," he said.

2) Michael Hethmon, Director of Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), offers the following legal comments, calling the amendment "a very serious attack on sovereignty."

I think this is a very serious attack on sovereignty and would have adverse implications for immigration control if enacted. 

Under the amendment, the state would voluntarily relinquish its sovereignty over land ownership.  The right of states to control ownership of land by non-citizens has deep ancient roots in the common law, and has repeatedly survived challenges to its constitutionality.

The implications of the amendment seem to be sweeping.  If an alien “ineligible for citizenship” – an illegal alien or a foreign government proxy is given the unrestricted right of land ownership, he will have acquired at least a colorable claim to a wide range of fundamental rights that are normally – both in the US and abroad – associated with the rights and privileges of citizenship.  This is a big step towards the globalist goal of replacing citizenship as the legal criteria for membership in US society with denizenship – your rights come not from the social contract with your fellow citizens, but from your control of assets; in this case, land.  Purchase of housing by illegals is already a big problem, as you know --  they comprise many of the problem single-family tenements, as illegal aliens rent out the rooms to make the mortgage, and then take the mortgage interest deduction using their ITIN.


http://election.dos.state.fl.us/initiatives/fulltext/pdf/10-69.pdf (Text of the ballot question)








October 22, 2008


2008 Voter Guide

Information below provides information on candidates for the 2008 General Election on November 4, 2008. 

The two sources are ALIPAC endorsements and NumbersUSA assessments both of which grade the candidates on their pro-enforcement immigration position.

ALIPAC Endorsements for Florida:

NumbersUSA - True Immigration Reform Candidates for Congress

NumbersUSA - Florida Congressional Races

NumbersUSA - Presidential Candidates On Immigration Issues

NumbersUSA - Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus Members Running for Re-election:

Rep. Gus M. Bilirakis (R-FL)

Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite (R-FL)

Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL)

Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL)

Rep. Ric Keller (R-FL)

Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL)

Rep. Dave Weldon (R-FL)

Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL)

October 21, 2008