APRIL 19, 2007
A Florida lawmaker chastised for sending his colleagues an electronic message poking fun at the costly toll illegal immigrants are having on his state is demanding an investigation to obtain exact figures of the burden.
The DeFuniak Springs state representative outraged the politically correct last week when he sent an electronic mail reminding his fellow legislators to file their taxes before the April 17 deadline. Accompanied by a cartoon, the message said: “Don’t forget to pay your taxes – 12 million illegal aliens are depending on you!”
The Florida Hispanic Legislative Caucus immediately fired a statement saying it took serious offense and various legislators said the message was racist and in bad taste. Many called on the Republican state representative, Don Brown, to immediately apologize and refrain from even using the term illegal when describing immigrants.
Under growing pressure from Hispanic colleagues and a Black state senator who introduced a bill to ban the word “alien” because it’s offensive, Brown apologized by saying he regretted sending the e-mail and was sorry it had become such a distraction from the important business of the day.
Brown’s constituents were outraged that he apologized and urged him not to back down on the illegal alien debate. His office received a deluge of supportive mail applauding his stance on illegal immigration. One man wrote that Brown shouldn’t apologize for stating the truth and another thanked him for standing up for our country. One constituent even suggested he run for president in 2008.
To prove his controversial and offensive tax message is in fact true, Brown has formally called for a study of the public cost of illegal immigrants in Florida. One reputable national group called Federation for American Immigration Reform estimates illegal immigrants cost the Sunshine State more than $2 billion a year.
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