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Florida’s new anti-immigration law hurts businesses

Jun 27, 2023

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Many businesses using undocumented workers in the agriculture, construction and hospitality sectors are concerned with a new Florida law, Senate Bill 1718, which takes effect on July 1. It requires private employers with 25 or more employees to use a federal online database to confirm whether someone is eligible to work in the U.S. or not. Additionally, it invalidates out-of-state driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants, provides funding for relocating migrants to sanctuary cities in other states, and requires hospitals receiving Medicaid funding to inquire about a patient’s immigration status.

Straight Arrow News contributor Ruben Navarrette agrees with critics who say the new law will cost the state billions in revenue due to a shortage of workers.

Clearly, DeSantis and other restrictionists want to send a message that Florida is inhospitable to the undocumented. They’re not welcome here. What is that Gen Zs are always saying? Oh, yeah, that’s right: “as if.” Someone should tell that to all those Florida businesses, hotels, restaurants, golf resorts, construction firms, farms, that rely heavily on undocumented workers. They worry that the law cracks down on employers.

Of course, the process starts with making sure that businesses don’t hire undocumented immigrants in the first place. SB 1718 requires that private employers with 25 or more employees use E-verify, the federal online database, that is supposed to confirm whether someone can legally work in the U.S.

And the law also makes the transporting of undocumented immigrants, which could include giving someone a ride to work, into a felony with fines and jail time attached. Businesses say the new law will make it impossible to find workers and cost the state billions of dollars in revenue.

Florida businesses are freaking out. Worst of all, this injury comes with an insult. See, the people who are trying to put Floridians out of business were put into office with contributions from Florida businesses. There’s the poetry.

Florida, for the love of God, make up your mind! Por favor. You can’t have it both ways on immigration. You look like a bunch of fools, liars and hypocrites which, let’s face it, given who who your Governor is at the moment, might not be too far off base. It’s not just Florida, of course. When it comes to illegal immigration, most of which hails from Mexico and Latin America, the whole United States wants to have their flan and eat it too. There are two signs on the US-Mexico border: “Keep Out” and “Help Wanted.”

 

Republicans in the Sunshine State are in the center ring of the circus hopelessly tied up in knots over their own contradictions. Here’s the question for the GOP. Do you want to get tough on illegal immigration? Or do you want to make money by hiring undocumented immigrants to do jobs that Americans won’t do? Do you want your alter ego to be Dirty Harry, or the little tycoon guy from monopoly? 

 

In Florida, where any hopes of a sane immigration policy that avoids demagoguery in new arrivals has been sacrificed on the altar of Governor Ron DeSantis’ 2024 presidential bid, it’s time to choose.

 

DeSantis is going full Dirty Harry in the hopes of winning over the nativist wing of the Republican primary electorate and a presidential campaign that is eerily timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Immigration Act of 1924 — which should have been called the “Italian Exclusion Act” because it aimed to keep out immigrants from Italy, while letting in more folks from Ireland and England. Why this grandson of Italian immigrants DeSantis is vying to be the biggest nativist. It’s poetry, or is it tragedy? Probably the latter. DeSantis, who also poses the 100% legal process of seeking asylum in the United States — because the Harvard graduate was apparently absent when they taught law at law school — recently helped push through one of the strictest anti-immigrant laws in America. 

 

Senate Bill 1718, which takes effect on July 1st, will limit social services for undocumented immigrants, allocate millions of tax dollars to ship migrants to other states, nullify drivers’ licenses issued to undocumented people by other states, and require hospitals that get Medicaid dollars to ask for a patient’s immigration status before treatment. Clearly, DeSantis and other restrictionists want to send a message that Florida is inhospitable to the undocumented. They’re not welcome here. What is that Gen Z’s always saying? Oh, yeah, that’s right, as if. Someone should tell that to all those Florida businesses, hotels, restaurants, golf resorts, construction firms, farms, that rely heavily on undocumented workers. They worry that the law cracks down on employers. Of course, the process starts with making sure that businesses don’t hire undocumented immigrants in the first place. SB 1718 requires that private employers with 25 or more employees use E-verify the federal online database that is supposed to confirm whether someone can legally work in the US. And the law also makes the transporting of undocumented immigrants, which could include giving someone a ride to work, into a felony with fines and jail time attached. Businesses say the new law will make it impossible to find workers and cost the state billions of dollars in revenue. Florida businesses are freaking out. Worst of all, this injury comes with an insult. See the people who are trying to put Floridians out of business were put into office with contributions from Florida businesses. 

 

There’s the poetry. Businesses are threatening work stoppage to protest the new law. Republican lawmakers find themselves in a tight spot. They want to keep out of Florida additional waves of undocumented immigrants, but they don’t want to scare off those immigrants that are already in Florida and going to work every day. Hey, Florida. Again, make up your mind. Stop complaining and just take a bite of humble pie and say thank you. You wanted immigrant workers and you’ve got them. Now stop acting like two-face charlatans and start acting like you deserve the best efforts of these good and hardworking people.

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