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Push back on McCollum's AZ-style immigration bill

Memo to wanna-be Republican Gov. Bill McCollum: Expect resistance to your proposed crackdown on illegal immigration in Florida.

That was the message during a phone call with a group of civil rights leaders, clergy and Hispanic and black lawmakers, who say there's no place in a non-border state like Florida for an Arizona-style law requiring local police to question suspected illegal immigrants.

State lawmakers on the call included Republicans Steve Bovo and Juan Zapata, and Democrats Gary Siplin and Tony Hill.

Siplin, chairman of the Florida Conference of Black State Legislators, said the bill would have an "adverse economic impact on tourism" and infringe on civil rights.

Bovo said, "If this debate is a genuine debate with regards to security, I'm well-versed to engage in that debate. If this debate is another vile cover for bigotry and simply for political purposes, I must be honest and share that I'll be greatly disappointed."

Mike Pheneger, chairman of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, said the bill "panders to our fears and our worst instincts as a people" and that the ACLU would take "immediate legal action."