Sun-Sentinel: State Republicans must become check on deportation abuse

Carlos Curbelo took several risks on Tuesday for a Republican member of Congress.

He went on CNN, to discuss immigration. He noted that border security had improved under the Obama administration. He pointed out that a record number of deportations had occurred during Obama’s presidency. Curbelo even stood up for truth, which he said has “gotten lost in a lot of our debates.”

From Curbelo’s Miami-Dade County district, however, the immigration perspective looks different than it does for many of his GOP colleagues. On Tuesday, Curbelo joined a discussion in Miami touting the “economic impact of Miami-Dade’s foreign-born population” — documented and undocumented — while also stressing the “critical need for immigration reform.”

Curbelo’s comments come as the Trump administration is greatly expanding the number of illegal immigrants whom the government wants to expel and adding 10,000 employees to carry out the mass deportations President Trump promised. Under Obama, the focus was on recent arrivals and those with serious criminal records. Under Trump, that pool will include long-time residents with any criminal record. Illegal entry is a misdemeanor. Illegal re-entry after deportation is a felony.

Such a change could be especially disruptive in Florida. It could break up established, productive families in which parents came illegally and had children, who are citizens. It could harm the state’s agricultural industry, which depends on migrant, undocumented labor. Six years ago, the state senator running an immigration crackdown bill worried the legislation might leave no one to pick his farm’s blueberries.

Read the full story from Sun-Sentinel: “State Republicans must become check on deportation abuse

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