Florida new anti-immigrant law could hurt undocumented immigrants especially latinos

Published on 22 May 2023 at 20:00

In February 2023, Governor Ron DeSantis proposed legislation that woud suppress illegal immigration in the state of Florida. In April, the Florida Senate passed the resulting bill (SB 1718).

This legislation includes restrictions and severe penalties that are intended to hinder the flow of illegal immigrants into the state. It increases employment verification requirements, discourages citizens from transporting illegal immigrants, requires hospitals to report on costs related to treating t hem, and bans the Florida use of driver's license to them in other states.  Some of the areas that may be affected by the new law, if it 

Employment rules: From July 1st if the law is effective, all companies with 25 or more employees must use E-verify to ensure employment eligibility of their workers. Employers that fails to comply could lose their operating licenses. 

Transportation limits: The bill calls for stronger criminal penalties for human smuggling, which includes helping people form other countries enter Florida. 

Healthcare requirements: Hospitals that receive federal and state Medicaid reimbursements will now be required to track and report the amount of money spent to care for illegal immigrants in their emergency rooms.

Driver licenses and other IDs: Non-citizens who have received driver's licenses in other states will be barred from using them in Florida. Also, local government will be prohibited from funding the creating of identification cards for illegal immigrants.

Unauthorized Alien Transport Program: The bill provides up to $12 million to fund the Unauthorized Alien Transport Program (pat of the Division of Emergency Management). 

If you are an immigrant living in Florida without legal documents, please try to file for immigration benefits as soon as possible, if you can. Otherwise, you may consider relocating to a more liberal cities in the United States.

This legislation may be challenged and not be effective perhaps, but nobody knows what really will happen until then. Thus, it is better to be prepared than regretting it. 

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