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Immigration Claims Spur War Of Words Between Corcoran, Gillum And Putnam

Three of Florida’s gubernatorial hopefuls got into a social media spat Thursday over immigration. Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and House Speaker Richard Corcoran exchanged words over sanctuary city policies.

Politifact Florida recently ran a story evaluating a claim by Putnam that Gillum’s statements on immigration and President Donald Trump’s travel ban indicate the mayor wants Florida to be a sanctuary state. The fact-checking site rated the claim half-true.

Does Andrew Gillum want to make Florida a sanctuary state?Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam is using the controversial topic of sanctuary cities to drum up Republican support in his bid for governor. At a campaign stop in Jacksonville, Putnam warned voters that one of his Democratic opponents wants a statewide expansion of policies that prevent the deportation of immigrants in the country illegally.

Putnam sent out a tweet highlighting the finding and taking a dig at Gillum, stating that would not happen should he become Governor. And Gillum responded, effectively calling Putnam’s stance racist.

House Speaker Richard Corcoran added to the back-and-forth, claiming both men have supported policies that he says, amount to amnesty for undocumented immigrants.

According to a 2014 Pew Research Center report there are more than 850,000 undocumented immigrants living in the state. And the Sun Sentinel reports arrests have nearly doubled from last year.

The Pew findings show the top employment areas for undocumented immigrants are agriculture, construction, leisure and hospitality.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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