Florida GOP lawmakers delay immigration tour after El Paso

Posted at 12:59 PM, Aug 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-12 13:00:12-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Republican Florida lawmakers are postponing an immigration "listening tour," saying a charged atmosphere after the El Paso, Texas, shootings and the Mississippi immigration raids won't lead to a productive discussion.

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Republican Sen. Joe Gruters said Monday that the tour scheduled to begin next week will be pushed back, probably until November. Gruters also chairs the state Republican Party.

Gruters and Republican Rep. Cord Byrd planned to lead the tour with stops across Florida. They're the lawmakers who sponsored bills requiring local governments to cooperate with federal authorities enforcing immigration laws. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the sanctuary policy ban into law.

Democratic Rep. Anna Eskamani said Gruters and Byrd should cancel the tour, calling it politically motivated rather than a sincere attempt to listen to Floridians on immigration issues.