POLITICS
08/11/2010 05:29 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Will Florida Copy-Cat Arizona's Controversial Immigration Law?

(AP) - Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum says a draft bill requiring police officers to check a person's immigrant status during a lawful stop gets around concerns raised by a federal judge over a similar provision in an Arizona law.

McCollum said at a news conference Wednesday that while the proposed Florida bill is very similar to one passed in Arizona, Florida's bill would strictly define what is considered a "reasonable suspicion" during a lawful stop.

A federal judge in Arizona last month delayed a provision of the Arizona law requiring Arizona police officers to check a person's immigration status while enforcing other laws.

McCollum says Florida's proposed bill one-ups the Arizona law by allowing judges to consider immigration status in setting bond and by allowing suspects to be charged with a higher-level crime because of immigration status.