“It’s easy to talk about – you know, down at the post office, at the bar – you know, we ought to do this thing,” Florida Senator JD Alexander, R- Lake Wales told his co-legislators in the Senate on Tuesday. “But when you start looking in people’s eyes and understand they are people who live and breathe just like us – I think you all need to think about it very carefully.”
Senator Alexander was talking about Florida’s heatedly debated immigration bill, SB 2040 , that drew immigration groups to Tallahassee by the busload, largely under the leadership of the Florida Immigrant Coalition , with the campaign, “We are Florida.”
Alexander, a citrus grower from Lake Wales originally tasked with leading the bill, came to his change of heart after taking the time to listen to the protesters. “Some members feel some of the lobbying activities are not wonderful, “Alexander told reporters. “Other perhaps are able to understand these are people just like everybody else.”
Now there’s a love note from a congressman to his constituents, to the citizens – all the citizens – whom he serves! A watered down version of the bill squeaked through the Senate, and it still has to go to the House, but its days may be numbered, thanks to protesters and a Senator who can use his heart as well as his head.
Kudos to Senator Alexander for thinking, listening, and taking the time to look in people’s eyes and see the shared humanity reflected there.