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Immigration debate comes back to haunt Mel Martinez

Images The debate over Arizona's strict new immigration law is giving Mel Martinez -- the Republican senator from Florida who took early retirement last year -- an uncomfortable sense of deja vu.

Martinez, the first Cuban American elected to the U.S. Senate, was at the center of the firestorm over immigration reform in 2006. Activists opposed to allowing illegal immigrants to earn citizenship mailed build-up-the-border bricks to the senator's office. The legislation collapsed as some unions balked, conservative Republicans cried against "amnesty,'' and anti-immigrant fervor laced talk radio.

Here we go again.

Taking matters into its own hands, Arizona has passed a polarizing law making it a crime not to carry a green card and empowering local police to enforce immigration law.

"I kind of cringe to see it all start again, to hear the same angry voices,'' said Martinez, now a lawyer/lobbyist at DLA Piper in Orlando. "What frustrates me so much is people equating illegal immigrants with criminals. You hear people talking about an invasion of our country.''

Full column here.

Comments

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GOPinsider

Duh, why would people think ILLEGAL immigrants are criminals? Criminals do things ILLEGALLY. ILLEGAL immigrants never do anything ILLEGAL, so why equate them with criminals?

This guy obviously has no clue.

Baxter Greenfield

Our current immigration laws are so restrictive that desperate people will do illegal things...ever hear of Jean Valjean? Americans don't want to pay the higher prices that would be necessary to pay American-level wages to labor on farms, slaughterhouses etc. but deperate foreign labor will. So here have a border with unpleasant jobs going begging on one side and people who are willing to do those jobs on the other.... and you think a law will negate the magnet? Lotsa luck.

George Fuller

Martinez was sent down to run for the US Senate by Bush. He campaigned against amnesty but three years later reversed himself and led the fight revealing he was a turncoat.

He said he was upset Hispanics didn't get more attention becasue they were the fastest growing population. They are the fastest growing population due to illegal aliens and the legal immigration process being biased into letting more Hispanics in than immigration law allowed... Thanks to Ted Kennedy.

Now we have Jeb Bush weighing in he doesn't like the AZ law.....Question, has anybody ever checked his wife's papers? Bush met her when he was teaching in Mexico. He moved back to TX and she showed up there with her father, I assume illegally.

She told her father she was going to the post office and never came back marrying Bush. So....is he married to an illegl alien which might expalin his bias in the matter?

Rubio is running for senator and says he opposes amnesty........he will be the only Hispanic in congress opposing amnesty if elected. How long will it be after elected before he too pulls a Martinez move and cries out for amnesty.....under a different name of course.

It is amazing people are appalled at the AZ law which says what the Federal Law does. And as far as carrying ID, this is America, it is no big deal to show ID........it happens to me all the time.

The ones who are most upset about having to show ID are the very people who don't have a valid ID.

And while we are talking about immigration....don't you think it is about time we removed Cubans from the elite immigrant status and started treating them just like any other Hispanic?

RealConservative

Watch it South Florida...this is the real face of the Republican party...Hard working Cubans inmigrants will probably be next in their crosshairs...

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