Tuesday, February 27, 2007


In his column yesterday, Lakeland Ledger political writer Bill Rufty focused on the newly formed American Party of Florida, among whose founders is former Avon Park mayor Tom Macklin, and it's primary focus of illegal immigration and undocumented aliens. As the APF works to expand across the state, a couple of recent events could possibly help their cause.

Rufty writes about a press release that Macklin and his new party sent out last Thursday deriding the decision by Highlands County officials to release five undocumented workers found in the back of a Freightliner box truck. It partially read, "They supposedly were released because they hadn't committed a crime. But in a post-Sept. 11 environment, undocumented individuals need to be detained, fingerprinted, and if possible, have their identities verified."

He may find some sympathizers in Manatee County in the wake of last Friday's kidnapping of 13-year-old Clay Moore from his bus stop. The alleged abducter is Vicente Ignacio Beltran-Moreno, a former migrant worker originally from Sinola, Mexico who law enforcement officials believe may have left the area, if not returned below the border. Beltran-Moreno was also an undocumented alien worker, resulting in a delay for deputies to get his actual identity clear.

Rufty closes his piece by noting:

Given the frustrations over immigration issues and the party's stand against illegal immigrants, they could have a powerful recruiting tool if Florida and especially the federal government don't come up with some type of resolution to the immigration issue.


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