City Commission opposes immigration bill


City Commission opposes immigration bill


Date: February 8, 2011
by: Robin Roy | City Editor


Citing a need for the city to fight hatred and racism, Mayor Kelly Kirschner introduced a proclamation opposing an Arizona-style immigration bill in Tallahassee.

“Twenty percent of our population is Hispanic,” said Kirschner. “There is palpable fear among citizens by the language and tone of this bill.”

The commission voted 3-2 to oppose the bill put forth by Florida Sen. Mike Bennett, which requires police to ask someone they legally stopped or arrested if they are American citizens.

The commission also endorsed the Florida Compact, which seeks to keep immigration a federal issue, keep law enforcement focused on more serious criminal activity and acknowledge immigrants’ role in the U.S. economy.

Commissioners Dick Clapp and Terry Turner voted against the measure, saying it was not a city issue.

“I’m not comfortable with this commission taking a position on this issue,” Turner said. “It’s a complex national issue. I think it would be irresponsible to take a position on an issue this complex.”

Kirschner told the two commissioners it would be irresponsible not to oppose the immigration bill.

“For us to remain silent and indifferent on this is not acceptable,” he said.

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Currently 4 Responses

  • 1.
  • AND... Come to think of it... just this past September, I had to show proof of citizenship and residency to renew my driver's license from the same agency that issued me my first one in 1971. Now, I ask you... What is the big deal about proving one's citizenship?
  • Tad MacKie
    Fri 11th Feb 2011
    at 12:11pm
  • 2.
  • Mr Kirschner needs to grow a pair. He's whining about costs and image?

    Illegal aliens cost the state of Florida nearly $4 BILLION in 2008, more that double what it was in 2005. that doesn't count the additional lost satet revenue and drain on local economies due to the nearly $3.1 BILLION sent back home by these people. (2006, JUST Latin America) that's $186 MILLION in just sales tax! There is a minimum of $90 MILLION/year to keep illegals convicted of a crime in jail!

    You can read the summary and download the full report from FAIR here:

    I would suggest our illustrious Mayor read it.
  • Tad MacKie
    Fri 11th Feb 2011
    at 11:42am
  • 3.
  • Right on Pete.
    I was present at the meeting, but I live in Sarasota county.
    I like the Mayor, but on this issue, with all due respect, I think he is wrong. Sarasota could be viewed as a sanctuary city.
    Being a naturalized citizen, and the hoops I had to jump through to become one, this is a tough one to swallow..
    These people broke the law and assumed the risks associated with their decision, including the consequences for their children.
    This being said, I agree that it could affect our economy, specifically agriculture and tourism i.e. boycots and lack of workforce to pick our crops. It is often overseen that these illegal immigrants do take the jobs of our poor.
    With reduced revenues, the issue, if the bill gets passed, is viewed buy the Commission as a mandate to the city in times where budgets have been cut , will continue to be cut, and funds are simply not available for enforcement.
    Wed 9th Feb 2011
    at 9:23pm
  • 4.
  • I love Mayor K like a brother, but on this issue he has gotten too close to people who wrongly see the issue as personal. It is not at all about Hispanic or not Hispanic, it is about being in the country illegally and therefore being a criminal. I am with Senator Bennett on this one. If someone "from France" is here illegally they should be questioned. The cone-head might be a tip-off . . . Oh, is that "profiling"?
  • Pete Theisen
    Tue 8th Feb 2011
    at 11:19am
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