Millions of Undocumented Immigrants in Florida Will Be Affected by New Law
As of July 1, a new law known as SB1718 will come into effect in Florida, impacting millions of undocumented immigrants. The law, proposed and enacted by Governor Ron DeSantis, aims to address the immigration crisis in Florida and along the southern border of the country.
Protests Against the Anti-Immigrant Law in Florida
In response to the new law, the immigrant community has taken to the streets of Florida to voice their concerns. According to Telemundo, around 10,000 immigrants in Fort Myers participated in a peaceful march to express their disgust and fear regarding the law. Many families are worried that without the necessary documents, heads of households may face deportation, leaving their children vulnerable and helpless.
“We went for a walk because we know that we are all immigrants. We have to defend our rights as citizens, as people. We all fight for the same cause. We are concerned about the harsh law that they are imposing. It’s not fair. We want them to let us live in peace, we’re not hurting anyone,” said one of the protesters. Another expressed, “What worries me is what will happen to immigrants who don’t have papers. What will happen?”
Although many protesters carried Mexican flags, there were also national symbols from Honduras, Guatemala, Venezuela, and other countries.
What is the SB1718 Law and How Does It Affect Immigrants?
The SB1718 law requires companies in Florida to use the E-Verify system to verify the legal status of their workers. Those without the necessary documents to work could face criminal sanctions, and employers may be fined up to $1,000.
Furthermore, the law mandates that hospitals verify the legal status of patients before providing necessary medical attention. It invalidates identification and other official documents issued by other states, and harboring, hiding, or protecting undocumented immigrants could result in a penalty of up to 15 years in prison.