News & Features » News

Immigrants beware


Last week, we reported that President Bush was mulling over Bill McCollum as the country's next drug czar. If that job falls through, however, it doesn't mean McCollum will have to leave the Beltway. The insider publication Roll Call recently reported that our former congressman was also on the short list to head the Immigration and Naturalization Service -- quite the scary prospect.

In 1996, the opportunistic McCollum -- while riding a wave of anti-immigrant sentiment -- co-sponsored a bill allowing the immediate deportation of any immigrant who had ever committed a felony, even those who committed petty crimes, such as shoplifting, some 20 years ago. What's more, it was retroactive, and didn't allow so much as an appeal.

During his failed bid for the Senate, McCollum realized he had gone too far, and he authored an amendment to rescind the retroactive component. Too little, too late, apparently: Texas' xenophobic Sen. Phil Gramm killed McCollum's amendment, leaving McCollum's nastiest legacy intact.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.