This is one of those “you can’t make this stuff up” stories that you’d think could only happen in Florida (where you can’t make most stuff up.) Sadly, it might be the future of much of the U.S. A tea party member has fired off an email to his fellow “patriots,” bragging that he sicked the federales on two lawmakers who dared to meet with Spanish-speaking people, without demanding to see their papers.
From the in-box:
Florida Tea Partier Calls for Immigration Raid at the State Capitol, includes Senators Flores and Alexander
As human rights advocates blanket the Florida Capitol, Local Tea Partier again reveals true motivation behind anti-immigrant bills
April 27, 2011- Tallahassee, FL – In a desperate attempt, a North West Florida Tea Party activist filed a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security against two state senators who met with human rights advocates who blanketed the Florida Capitol this week to lobby against Arizona copycat racial profiling bills. In an email written to supporters, Geoff Ross says he filed the complaint after Sen. Flores met with “non English speaking Hispanics” and didn’t “ask these people if they were here illegally.” The complaint also named Sen. Alexander.
“This is a prime example of the xenophobia and racial profiling that is being promoted with tax payer money,” said Maria Rodriguez of the Florida Immigrant Coalition. “The investigation is ridiculous and waste of tax payer money. If these laws pass we can expect more misdirected criminalization and repression. This diversionist debate comes at a high moral and economic cost. In fact, Florida stands to lose up to $45 billion through enforcement, litigation, and general impact on tourism and industry.”
According to Ross’s email the DHS has actually opened an investigation and will be assigning an investigation team. The investigation number is 02223487.
“It is unbelievable that DHS is honoring this man’s racist and fear mongering intimidation” continues Rodriguez. “Those families, clergy, and advocates in Tallahassee are exercising their first amendment rights. These rights are not based on ones skin color, accent, or language spoken. Any move to allow racial profiling is an affront to democracy and the history of our nation’s long road to equality for all people.”
As the Miami Herald’s Naked Politics blog reported it:
Immigration advocates have swarmed Tallahassee this week to protest HB 7089 and SB 2040. They met with Sen. J.D. Alexander on Monday, with Senate President Mike Haridopolos on Tuesday, and have staged vigils and prayers in the corridors of the state Capitol.
And who is this dastardly Senator Flores, who dares to meet with people who speak the dreaded Spanish, without demanding to see their papers? Well … she’s the Cuban-American original co-sponsor of Florida’s proposed Arizona-style immigration bill, SB2040. Seriously. In fact, both Flores and J.D. Alexander … are REPUBLICANS. Go team! Alexander, who is also the Senate budget chief, replaced Flores this month as the shepherd of the legislation because Senate President Mike Haridopolos, who is running for the U.S. Senate and thus needs all the tea party support he can get, worried that her version wasn’t harsh enough.
Here’s tea party Geoff’s letter to his fellow “patriots”:
From: Geoff Ross.
Sent: Tue, April 26, 2011 10:26:41 PM
Subject: *HOMELAND SECURITY PREPARES POTENTIAL INVESTIGATION AGAINST FLORIDA STATE SENATORS FOR FAILING TO REPORT SUSPECTED ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS IN THE STATE CAPITAL*
*POTENTIAL INVESTIGATION OF SENATOR FLORES AND SENATOR J.D. ALEXANDER*
Investigation Number: 02223487
*For failure to report and for engaging in state business with suspected illegal immigrants at the State Capital April 25th and 26th 2011*
As I reported yesterday, bus loads of suspected illegal immigrants swarmed the offices of State Senators and our Legislators in Tallahassee Florida, the highest taxed county in our State. The suspected illegal’s arrived offering baskets of fruit as gifts in exchange to end the legislative tools being written to protect our state like E verify.
Senator Flores and Senator J.D. Alexander engaged in dialogue with these suspected illegal aliens and not one single member of the House or Senate or Capital Police called Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or Homeland In-Security to report these alleged criminals.
I called Senator Flores office today at (850-487-5130) but Senator Flores was tied up in a budget meeting. Her personal aid confirmed to me that Senator Flores did speak with these non English speaking Hispanics, but she told me that Senator Flores did not ask these people if they were here illegally.
Why not ?
So the question is….if they are not here illegally why are they in the Senators office asking her for citizenship and asking her to shut down E verify and other tools that we need to secure our state and our borders.
With the information in hand I then called the Sergeant at Arms (The boss in charge of the State Capital Police) at 850-488-8224 and reported the suspected illegal’s walking freely around the State Capital. The Capital Police stated the suspected illegal’s were all checked through security and did not have any weapons. Well good says I, you have them all rounded up now report these people to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. They declined.
So finally folks I called the Homeland Security Investigations office in Washington DC and reported the entire incident including the meetings and the failure of two Florida State Senators to report suspected illegal immigrants to ICE. Ref: Senator Flores and Senator J.D. Alexander. I consider this aiding and abetting suspected illegal immigrants in the State Capital Building.
The Homeland Security Investigations Office in Washington will assign an investigation team for me which is now in process and they will be requesting more information from me tomorrow.
The investigation number to reference this Homeland Security report that is now on file and on the record is 02223487.
SECURE THE BORDERS !!!! No highway option.
Copy to the Senator Flores and Senator J.D. Alexander.
United States Navy retired
Note that Ross does not appear to know Senator Flores’ last name (psst … it’s “Anitere”) or at least refuses to use it, while he affords Sen. Alexander more courtesy. Not sure what that’s about. But what this person is clearly saying, is that the mere fact of hearing Spanish spoken is evidence of the presence of supposedly “illegal” immigrants. Has this guy ever been to Miami? He’d have to call the feds EVERY DAY.
Meanwhile, here’s the letter the Florida Immigrant Coalition sent to ICE, in response to the unbelievable fact that anyone in federal law enforcement would actually entertain such a request:
Marc Moore, ICE Field Office Director;
David Bradley, ICE Assistant Field Officer Director;
Simone Lee-Fatt, Supervisory Deportation Officer;
Beth Gibson, ICE Headquarters;
Stephanie Valencia, White House Office of Political Affairs
April 27, 2011
*Re: Tea Party threats to Latino constituents in Tallahassee, Florida*
The Florida Immigrant Coalition -representing organizations from urban and rural cities, agricultural farmworkers, faith groups, youth leaders and service agencies in Florida of all ethnic backgrounds and nationalities- has received notification of a recent letter/complaint to the immigration authorities by Geoff Ross, President of the Emerald Coast Tea Party Patriots, (attached) profiling constituents in Tallahassee as “illegal aliens”. We see the letter from this gentleman as a threat to the constitutional rights of those gathered in Tallahassee and as a clear indication of the culture of xenophobia and racism that is spreading Arizona copycat legislation slated to destroy Florida’s economy and social progress.
We are concerned about the allegations being proposed against local Tallahassee residents, clergy, children and other community leaders from around the state with diverse ethnic backgrounds who are visiting their state representatives to exercise their first amendment rights.
It is important to affirm that elected representatives have no legal authority to question the immigration status of constituents visiting their offices, nor do they have any legal authority to disclose any information shared in testimony by their constituents without their formal approval and consent.
The community members that have been gathering in Tallahassee have been doing so peacefully and orderly, sharing prayers, bringing blessings, and
carrying the important message of protecting Florida’s families and workers from the potential of racial profiling and unconstitutional criminalization of Latinos in our state.
We are requesting confirmation that the rights and safety of Floridian children, their families and the workers gathered in Tallahassee will be ensured.
Florida Immigrant Coalition
As I said, (hopefully) only in Florida.