Immigrant Crime Bill Draws Sharp Rebuke

Dec 6, 2016

Florida state Sen. Travis Hutson, R-Elkton, wants to enhance penalties for crimes committed by,“aliens unlawfully present in the United States.”

Sen. Travis Hutson, R-Elkton, is making another attempt to enhance criminal penalties, this time for, "aliens unlawfully present in the United States." The Florida Immigrant Coalition is calling the proposal unconstitutional.

The bill died last year, but advocates are worried now that President-elect Donald Trump successfully waged an anti-immigration campaign. Florida Immigrant Coalition policy director Francesca Menes:

“Based on the recent election and who got elected, and a lot of the promises and commitments that he made, we expect that all of our communities, for the most part, are going to be under attack," she says.

A Senate committee chairman refused to hear Hutson’s bill last year. He has narrowed the bill’s scope, but Menez says it still would not withstand a constitutional challenge.

Rep. Dane Eagle, R-Cape Coral, is backing the bill in the Florida House of Representatives.