Our all-powerful Speaker of the House Richard Corcoran, and his friend Joe Negron are moving a very ugly – and, yes, un-American – bill through the Legislature.
House Bill 9 requires every Florida county and city to use every possible resource to enforce federal immigration law. I believe in the rule of law; I don’t believe in legislation that begins to treat all Americans with the same sort of suspicions that totalitarian governments have used for generations.
Has such happened before in our country?
Sadly, yes. One painful example would be the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, essentially targeting unjustly those who looked different from most of us.
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Some call it the “Show me your papers” law, which is fully reminiscent of what my family and so many others went through in Cuba. It’s a long-standing practice used by the Cuban, Venezuelan, Chinese, Vietnamese and other oppressive governments to control the population.
Today, if you live in eastern Cuba (where people tend to be darker) such as my hometown of Manzanillo and travel to Havana, you can be stopped for any reason and asked to present your papers. If you don’t have them with you, you likely will be arrested; if you do have them with you, you will be asked for proof that you’re gainfully employed in Havana and are authorized by the government to live in Havana. Fail to satisfy these requirements, you also are arrested.
We are living during very dangerous times, when individual gain prominence by inciting fear and elevating the lack of tolerance among neighbors. Mr Corcoran in his quest to become governor, uses vile words, deeds, tv advertising and now even the a respected institution, our State Government.
He and a few uninformed legislators attempt to eliminate the essence of newly arrived Americans and now intend to use racial profiling fir their misguided efforts. But, in fact, they have awakened a multitude of honorable people whose universal human values are in direct contrast to their lack of tolerance.
The vast majority of us can quickly see the positive social and economic contribution by these law-abiding neighbors. Their children sit alongside our own at schools throughout our state. They care for our parents and grandparents at health care facilities and nursing homes. The same people you want to erase from American reality make it possible for us to consume, with clean eating utensils, salads, fruits, chicken and beef.
In their pursuit of higher political office, their vision cannot lead to a greater good. Rather it inflames a sad rhetoric that has been played in the past via a strategy that ultimately never prevails. They, those brave souls add value, compassion and a bright future to our lives.
Unlike people like Mr. Corcoran, who want to bring us back to an ugly time in our history.
The current Speaker and the Senate President seek to set back the clock to a time that most nations want to forget.
This bill doesn’t deserve to see the light of day.
Michael "Mike" B. Fernandez,
MBF Healthcare Partners