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Connie Mack to Tallahassee: Don't do immigration

Cape Coral Republican Rep. Connie Mack is warning legislators in Tallahassee against pursuing an immigration law like Arizona's, saying it "strikes a severe blow to individual freedom and the principles that make our nation strong.

Letter follows jump.

"I believe strongly that the new immigration law in Arizona that is set to take effect on July 29, 2010 is a large step in the wrong direction. Like most Americans, I strongly believe that we must secure our borders and crack down on employers who hire illegal immigrants. 

"The Arizona immigration law, however, strikes a severe blow to individual freedom and the principles that make our nation strong. It puts some Americans at risk of losing their freedoms and having to prove their citizenship while others stand little or no chance of being affected. It is the wrong approach to addressing our nation’s immigration problems.

"As you are surely aware, legislation modeled after the Arizona immigration law was recently filed in the Florida House and Senate, and there is speculation that it could be considered during next week’s special session in Tallahassee. I strongly implore you not to make the same mistake as Arizona by passing similar legislation.

"There is no question that we are at a crossroads, and that we must tackle the illegal immigration issue.  But we must not let fear and distrust fuel this debate and shape this legislation. Rather, let us commit ourselves to grow Florida as a unique state where tourism, technology, and pro-business elements dominate. Let us grow a Florida that we can be proud of and that leads by example for all citizens. And let us legislate
responsibly, and with our hearts and minds focused on protecting the freedoms of all Floridians. "