Immigration reform could define Florida's 2018 gubernatorial race

Immigration reform could define Florida's 2018 gubernatorial race

Javier Manjarres
Javier Manjarres
January 9, 2018

With an immigration reform showdown between Republicans and Democrats looming large over the nation, the important swing state of Florida could be ground zero for the fight to reform the controversial and broken national immigration policy.

Congress is expected to pass a pro-DACA bill that will allow those 800,000 illegal immigrant children permanently stay in the US, but could blanket comprehensive immigration reform be just around the corner?

Democrats would like to see nothing less than full amnesty for all illegal immigrants currently living in the US, and could use the DACA bill as leverage to force a full debate on immigration reform.

In Florida, Republican gubernatorial candidates are trying to out-hawk one another when it comes to legal immigration. The candidates-Rep.Ron DeSantis, AG Commissioner Adam Putnam (pictured), and House Speaker Richard Corcoran (has not announced yet)- are all jockeying to be considered the states most conservative and pro-legal immigration candidate.

Corcoran, who like we said has not yet announced his candidacy, has been pushing a very aggressive anti-sanctuary city narrative.

DeSantis has been a constant when it comes to pushing a legal immigration agenda but a recent letter from a group of pro-illegal immigration groups thanks DeSantis and other members of congress for “working together” over the “many prior months” on DACA to help “Dreamers.”

Here is the letter minus many of the signers (too many to list).

The letter does not specifically state that DeSantis favors amnesty for DACA kid, but could leave some questioning what kind of work he has done to help these groups in their efforts to push their immigration agenda.

DeSantis recently told Fox News that congressional Republicans should steer clear from addressing the DACA issue, saying that it would be “a mistake” to do so.

"I think moving on to something controversial a lot of Republicans didn't run on, you know I think that would be a mistake," said the congressman. "I think we have to do what the American people sent us here to do. That has to be the first order of business." -Rep. Ron DeSantis (Newsmax)

While he vehemently opposes Sanctuary cities, Putnam’s position on immigration reform is a mixed bag of sorts. While in the US Congress, then-Congressman Putnam voted for bills that were perceived as being pro-illegal immigration, and most recently supported Senator Rubio’s 2013 ‘Gang of Eight” Senate immigration reform bill.

On the Democratic side of the gubernatorial race, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who recently received the support of billionaire George Soros, is a proponent of legalizing the 800,000 or so DACA children

"These are working people who pay taxes in our country…They are attending public schools alongside our children and graduating as valedictorians and standout students. They are critical members of our local, state and national economy, and contribute to the culture of our society. A decision between security or compassionate immigration policy are false choices, we can have them both.”-Mayor Andrew Gillum

Gillum is in a hotly contested primary race with former Congresswoman Gwen Graham and Miami Beach Mayor Phillip Levine.

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Javier Manjarres

Javier Manjarres

Javier Manjarres is a nationally renowned award-winning political journalist and Publisher of,,, and He enjoys traveling, playing soccer, mixed martial arts, weight-lifting, swimming, and biking. Javier is also a political consultant and has also authored "BROWN PEOPLE," which is a book about Hispanic Politics. Follow on Twitter: @JavManjarres Email him at

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