City council members in Avon Park vote up or down tonight on a proposed ordinance that would fine landlords who rent to so-called “illegal immigrants”. Dubbed “The Illegal Immigration Relief Act” – the ordinance would fine landlords a thousand dollars for each undocumented person they rent to. Two city council members oppose the ordinance. Mayor Tom Macklin is part of the majority of three. He says illegal immigrants are destroying Avon Park’s character.
“Now that they’re finding low paying construction jobs they’re here year round and that actually compounds the problems in an enforcement mode because the homes are occupied a greater period of the year.”
Avon Park is city of 8 thousand in Highland’s County – about twenty percent of its residents are Hispanic. The proposed ordinance would also make English the official language. Mary Bauer of the Southern Poverty Law Center says it’s legally flawed and mean spirited.
“it’s a ordinance that’s been making the rounds. it’s an ordinance that’s been proposed in similar form in Hazleton penn. and san bernadino California so its clearly being marketed by the anti immigrant crowd .”
The public hearing is at 6:00 followed by the vote. Avon Park Mayor Tom Macklin says he’s willing to defend any legal changes.
Tuesday, 25 July 2006 01:00