Published: May 28, 2010 11:33 AM EDT
Updated: May 28, 2010 8:34 AM EDT

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) - The head of the Florida House's criminal justice committee says he's considering the introduction of an Arizona-style law against illegal immigrants.

Rep. William Snyder, a Stuart Republican and former police officer, says he would "unequivocally" support such a law in Florida. Arizona generated a firestorm of attention after passing a law requiring police to check the immigration status of people they stop if suspects could be reasonably expected to be in the United States illegally.

Civil rights groups have criticized the law and called for a boycott against the state. The Department of Homeland Security estimated in 2008 Florida had an estimated 850,000 illegal immigrants, third in the country behind California and Texas.