Bill McCollum: Florida should copy Arizona’s immigration law

Attorney General Bill McCollum has had a dramatic change of heart on Arizona's new immigration law. Here's what he said on April 27: "I think Arizona has its own unique problems. I don't think Florida should enact laws like this -- quite that far out.''

Now he says some amendments to the law -- which failed to mollify most critics, including, apparently, former Gov. Jeb Bush -- have made it palatable, and that he would support a similar measure in Florida.

McCollum's statement: As state and local law enforcement officials in Arizona begin to implement the states aggressive new border security law to crackdown on illegal immigration, I applaud Governor Brewer and the Arizona Legislature for stepping up their enforcement efforts at a time when President Obama's administration has let states down. I support Arizona's law as amended, and if the federal government fails to secure our borders and solve the problem of illegal immigration, I would support a similar law for Florida. Arizona leaders recently made needed changes that address concerns I had that the law could be abused and misused to perform racially profiled stops and arrests. I do not support any measure that would result in racial profiling or other unintended consequences for law abiding American citizens. Here in Florida, my Attorney General's office worked with state and local law enforcement agencies to reach agreements with the Department of Homeland Security to increase the number of Florida officers trained to enforce immigration laws and expand the scope of their authority. While these efforts continue, the Obama Administration is not providing enough resources and officers to enforce federal immigration law. President Obama and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano have shortsightedly failed to address serious border security issues, and now states carry a greater burden to keep our cities, streets and citizens safe. As Attorney General and as Florida's next Governor, I am committed to advancing new and aggressive initiatives to keep Florida secure.