LatinaLista — It wasn’t long after Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed SB 1070 that people began to wonder how many other politicians across the country would follow her lead and think the most foolproof way to win their respective elections, or re-elections, would be to voice support for Arizona’s immigration law.
We didn’t have to wait long.
As soon as SB 1070 became law, candidates in the Florida gubernatorial race started grabbing onto it — one candidate, Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, even flip-flopped his position on it to show constituents he supported it and would support a similar one for Florida.
McCollum’s flip-flop comes days after a recent poll showed him losing ground to an unexpected and well-financed Republican rival, Rick Scott, who backs the Arizona law.
After spending at least $4.7 million on a statewide television blitz, the little-known former healthcare executive is capturing 24 percent of the Republican vote, according to a Mason-Dixon poll. McCollum, who has been in politics for two decades, received 38 percent in the survey.
There are gubernatorial candidates who don’t support the AZ bill, they are, as to be expected, the Democratic and Independent candidates.
Yet in Florida, the idea of riding the political coattails of SB 1070 is so popular that even the candidate for the U.S. Senate, Marco Rubio, a Cuban-American, has voiced his support of the bill since the Arizona legislature amended the original.
It’s one thing for Arizona to pass such a bill targeting basically Mexican immigrants since Mexican Americans comprise the majority of the state’s Latino population, but in Florida where there is truly a diversity of Latino cultures, the risk of targeting one Latino subgroup over others is a recipe for disaster.
For starters, it could foster resentment and possible violence as one group sees themselves as the scapegoats of an immigration policy that has different standards among the different Latino subgroups.
Florida has always been home to Cubans, Puerto Ricans, Central and South Americans, people from the Caribbean and Mexicans. They learned to co-exist, their children intermarried, cultures intertwined and when it comes to the term “melting pot,” Florida has always epitomized the term.
So, it makes little sense for any Florida politician to endorse a bill that would create havoc on a delicate balance of life that has always existed — and actually exists in all states among those communities who are tolerant, accepting and understanding of the fact that there’s a reason why immigration policy must be left to the federal government to create and enforce.