Rick Scott, Bill McCollum Oppose Obama Administration's Suit Against Arizona Immigration Laws
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Both health care executive Rick Scott and Attorney General Bill McCollum, competing in a close fight for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, attacked a federal lawsuit against Arizona’s new immigration laws.
While U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said the new laws were a threat to civil rights, the two Republican candidates disagreed in fierce terms -- and took aim at President Barack Obama for not wanting to enforce immigration laws.
“Reaffirming last week’s immigration address, President Obama proves yet again that he is not serious about dealing with the problem of illegal immigration,” said Scott. “ He would rather punish law-abiding citizens for enforcing the law than deal with the illegal immigrants who are breaking the law. When I am elected governor, I’ll bring the Arizona law to Florida and the president will have one more lawsuit on his hands.”
McCollum, who challenged new federal health care laws in a lawsuit backed by other attorneys general across the nation, also took Obama to task over the new lawsuit against Arizona.
“Today, the Obama Administration wrongly chose to subvert the will of the people of Arizona by legally challenging the immigration law passed by the state’s legislature and approved by Gov. Jan Brewer,” said McCollum on Tuesday. “As a result of the federal government’s failure to secure our borders, states like Arizona have had no choice but to take matters into their own hands and pass legislation to protect their residents and communities.”
McCollum said he saw Arizona and Florida were being harmed by the federal government’s weak attempts to secure the border and enforce current immigration laws.
“Instead of challenging the Arizona law, the Obama Administration’s time would be better spent providing more resources and securing our southern border,” said McCollum. “If the federal government were to do more to enforce existing immigration laws, states like Arizona and Florida would not have to compensate for its shortcomings.”
McCollum even linked the president’s policy on immigration to the other major point of contention between the president and the state attorney general. “President Obama wants to do for our borders what he’s done in health care,” said McCollum. “His administration continues to infringe on states’ sovereignty while failing to provide real solutions American taxpayers can afford.”
Immigration has become a sticking point in the increasingly contentious battle for the Republican gubernatorial nomination -- with Scott insisting that McCollum is all talk on the issue.
That theme continued on Tuesday.
The release the Scott campaign sent out also took a shot at his rival in the GOP primary.
“While Rick Scott has consistently supported bringing an Arizona-style law to Florida, his opponent Bill McCollum continues to nuance his position on the issue and opposes bringing the Arizona law to Florida, saying that such a law is not needed,” wrote the Scott campaign.
McCollum pledged to enforce the current laws on immigration.
“As governor, I will continue to enhance the authority of Florida’s law enforcement officers and provide them with the resources necessary to crack down on illegal immigration and protect Florida’s communities,” said McCollum.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at 850-727-0859.