Among other restrictions, a contentious Florida legislation that went into effect on Saturday no longer accepts driver’s licenses issued to unauthorized immigrants from other states.
Many Floridians are leaving the state as a result of the expansive immigration measure that Republican Florida Governor and Presidential Candidate Ron DeSantis passed back in May.
Immigrant workers in a variety of areas, including agriculture, tourism, and hospitality, have protested in the lead-up to the new law.
According to reports of migrant workers quitting their jobs at construction sites and in fields, “we are hearing people are starting to leave,” said Yvette Cruz of the Farmworkers Association of Florida to CBS News. “As the law goes into effect, we’ll just see that more and more,”
The rule also imposes severe penalties on individuals who attempt to employ or transport unauthorized immigrants, which critics claim may include relatives.
Additionally, it mandates that hospitals that accept Medicaid payments inquire about a patient’s immigration status.
DeSantis argues that the measure is required because the Biden administration, in his opinion, failed to protect the border.
The tweet below confirms the news:
A controversial and sweeping immigration bill signed by Republican Florida governor and presidential candidate Ron DeSantis back in May is prompting many to leave the state. https://t.co/brGzul0Rml
— CBS News (@CBSNews) July 2, 2023
DeSantis previously claimed at a campaign rally that “at the end of the day, you wouldn’t have the illegal immigration problem if you didn’t have a lot of people who were facilitating this in our country.”
The new rule causes fear of separation for farmworkers like Ofelia Aguilar, who is undocumented but has children who are citizens of the United States, including an 8-year-old son.
“I’m not going to leave my son behind,” Aguilar declared. “My son is coming with me if I go,” I said.
Aguilar said that she recently fell off a truck while performing her job and was confined to bed for two weeks due to a back injury. She avoided seeking medical attention nonetheless for fear of being questioned about her immigration status.
According to the Florida Policy Institute, the state’s most labor-intensive industries employ close to 10% of illegal workers, which leaves both companies and employees concerned about the effects of the new law.
DeSantis signed more than 200 laws, some of which have an influence on abortion, education, and firearms, and went into force on Saturday.
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