Floridians have seen the controversy that's erupted in Arizona over their controversial immigrations bill: the economic boycotts, the worries of racial profiling and charges of racism, and the arguments that it violates the US Constitution. Yet, a majority of Floridians have said, "We'd like what they're having," despite the fact Florida shares no borders with a foreign nation, has different immigration issues than Arizona, and has an economy dependent on tourism.
According to a poll by Suffolk University, 51 percent of Floridians think the state should adopt immigration laws similar to Arizona. Unsurprisingly, the issues exposes deep differences amongst race.
White voters favor the law 59 percent to 26 percent. Hispanics opposes the law 47 percent to 36 percent. Somewhat surprisingly though African American voters disapprove of such laws by a far greater margin than Hispanics at a rate of 62 percent to 25 percent.
The law also exposes differences amongst parties. Only 32 percent of Democrats favor such laws, while 48 percent oppose. Seventy-four percent of Republicans favor the law, while only 16 percent oppose. Independent's favor the law at a rate of 50 percent with only 35 percent disapproving.
When asked a slightly different question -- whether current Florida immigrations laws were too lenient, too strict or just right -- 52 percent said they were too lenient, 8 percent said they were too strict, 18 percent said they preferred the laws as they are.
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The Suffolk poll did not ask Floridians if they actually knew what Florida's current immigrations laws are, or if they new exactly what Arizona's new laws entail.
Currently various bills hoping to mimic Arizona's laws are making their way through the Republican controlled Florida legislature.