On May 10, 2023, just ahead of the end of the Title 42 immigration policy, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law the country’s biggest crackdown on illegal immigration. Our community in Florida is at risk — it’s crucial to stay informed about this new law in Florida, so you can keep yourself and your loved ones safe. Even if you are not in Florida, the end of this article contains a list of resources for immigrants living in the U.S.
Below we will answer some questions about Florida’s new immigration law:
- What does this new law include?
- Who does this new law affect?
- What are the punishments for breaking this law?
- What resources do I have as an immigrant living in Florida?
- Are there safer places for me to go as an immigrant living in Florida?
- How can I stay up-to-date on immigration news?
What does this new law include?
This law includes:
- new requirements for employers and hospitals
- harsher punishments for transporting undocumented immigrants into the state
- $12 million to continue the Unauthorized Alien Transport Program to relocate undocumented immigrants to sanctuary jurisdictions
- invalidation of out-of-state driver’s licenses for undocumented individuals
You can review more details on this law directly at flgov.org. Please note this page may include anti-immigration rhetoric, which does not reflect our values at Noticias para Inmigrantes.
Who does this new law affect?
This new law affects not only undocumented individuals living in Florida but businesses, medical institutions, and individuals who aid or employ undocumented immigrants.
Here is a list of employer requirements under the new law from the Pensacola News Journal:
- Employers are required to verify a new employee’s employment eligibility within three business days after the first day the new employee begins working for pay.
- Private employers with 25 or more employees must use the federal E-Verify system to verify a new employee’s employment eligibility starting on July 1.
- Public agencies are also required to use the E-Verify system to verify a new employee’s employment eligibility.
- Employers cannot continue to employ an unauthorized alien after obtaining knowledge that a person is or has entered the county illegally.
- It is unlawful for any person to knowingly employ, hire, recruit, or refer, either for herself or himself or on behalf of another, for private or public employment within the state, a “foreign national” who is not authorized to work in the U.S.
Additionally, hospitals in Florida will be required to ask about patients’ citizenship status.
It is suspected that this new law could lead to racial profiling among law enforcement agencies for the entire Latino community.
What are the punishments for breaking this law?
The following flow chart from the Florida Policy Institute breaks down the new law’s penalties (in English).
What resources do I have as an immigrant living in Florida?
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida provides a suggested immigration assistance contact list that includes phone numbers, email addresses, and addresses for trustworthy organizations that can help you.
The ACLU of Florida also has a blog called “Your rights behind the headlines,” which dispels misinformation about essential issues in Florida, including immigration issues. If you need financial assistance, food, medical services, or more, you can visit findhelp.org and search for resources based on your area code. This website is available in multiple languages.
Are there safer places for me to go as an immigrant living in Florida?
We know uprooting your life and starting over again isn’t easy. If you have the resources to leave Florida to keep yourself and your family safe, here is a list of sanctuary cities in the U.S. that welcome immigrants. Additionally, here is a list of Legal advice contacts for each State.
Noticias para Inmigrantes also has various resources that could help you during this time, including:
How can I stay up-to-date on immigration news?
To learn about immigration news and resources for immigrants, you can follow us on TikTok and Instagram @noticiasparainmigrantes.