Florida Immigration Law: Latino Advocacy Group Urges Caution

Florida Immigration Law: The Latino advocacy group, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), is advising against travel to Florida due to an impending immigration law set to be enforced in July. Signed by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, the law mandates that employers with over 25 employees utilize the E-Verify federal database to verify immigration status. Non-compliant employers face daily fines until proof of legal citizenship is provided.

In addition, the law invalidates out-of-state identification cards, including driver’s licenses, issued to undocumented immigrants. It also prevents Florida agencies from issuing new identification cards, making it impossible for illegal immigrants to drive in the state. Harsh penalties, including steep fines and imprisonment, are imposed on those transporting undocumented individuals within the US.

This controversial immigration law is one of several recently signed by DeSantis, attracting national attention as he potentially gears up for the 2024 Republican presidential primary, potentially competing against former President Donald Trump and other contenders.

Domingo Garcia, President of LULAC, has denounced the law as “hostile and dangerous.” LULAC, a civil rights organization founded 94 years ago, has issued a travel advisory cautioning against visits to Florida.

DeSantis argues that the law is necessary to counter “reckless federal government policies” and to safeguard Florida taxpayers from bearing the burden of illegal immigration.

The economic impact of the law is a concern for Francisco Maldonado, a farmer based in Homestead, Florida. Although he personally won’t be affected as he employs fewer than 25 workers, he worries about the potential deportation of undocumented workers who remain in the state. Maldonado states that fellow farmers, who employ more than 25 workers, are apprehensive about potential losses and uncertainties regarding their workforce.

Lydia Guzmán, who leads LULAC’s immigration committee, emphasizes that laws targeting and harassing immigrants have adverse effects on a state’s economy. Maldonado echoes this sentiment, highlighting that immigrant workers are vital drivers of Florida’s economy and that the new law disproportionately impacts the communities that contribute to its economic success.

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