As the immigration reform debate continues to dominate national politics, Florida’s state politics is also neck-deep in that very same conversation.
Florida Speaker of the House Richard Corcoran recently engaged Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum (D) in a live debate over the hot topic issue of “sanctuary cities.”
Gillum has already announced his gubernatorial campaign, while Corcoran is expected to announce his gubernatorial campaign after the 2018 legislative session concludes.
The debate between these two men was ideological in nature, as both men rattled off immigration talking points that are currently being used within their respective political parties.
Gillum, who is supported by liberal billionaire George Soros, pulls hard to the left and supports blanket amnesty and sanctuary cities, while Corcoran is opposed to any form of illegal immigration, including allowing states and cities to subvert federal immigration laws.
It was a no-brainer that Gillum opposes Corcoran’s HB 9, a bill that would keep local municipalities from enforcing federal immigration laws, but make those officials civilly liable and set the table for their removal from office.
The bill took center stage during the debate, as both Corcoran and Gillum made their cases for and against sanctuary cities.
While both men exchanged one-liner zingers at one another, Corcoran’s “nothing undocumented about them” was the soundbite that probably resonated the loudest to those watching.
Corcoran argued that illegal immigrants who broke US immigration law were just that, illegal, and not undocumented as Gillum and others refer to them as.
“There is nothing undocumented about them, they are illegal.” –Speaker Richard Corcoran
Gillum argued that the term “illegals” was a “term used to dehumanize” individuals.
The debate wasn’t watched by a whole bunch of Floridians, but that didn’t matter because both men got what they needed, media attention.
Gillum, who is locked in a heated primary race against former Rep. Gwen Graham and Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, needs all the attention he can get. Corcoran’s performance in the debate helps him with the Republican base, who are mulling over whether to support Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam or Rep. Ron DeSantis for governor.