South Florida activists condemn Gov. DeSantis new law targeting undocumented immigrants

Groups push back on Florida's controversial immigration law

MIAMI - Immigration advocates are warning the new legislation is creating fear in communities and they say that could be felt in our economy.

Over a dozen immigration activists, all of them speaking on behalf those who they say do not have a voice, delivered an impassioned message outside of Miami's symbol of freedom, the Freedom Tower. 

Farm workers say they will be leaving Florida

"Currently we are facing the reality that people in Homestead are very scared," said Ivette Cruz from South Florida Farmers Association. She said agriculture workers are desperately calling her office, "everyday asking what do we do, should we leave… do we have hope, is there a miracle?"

One by one, advocates condemned the recently signed law by Governor Ron DeSantis known as SB1718, it will be effective on July 1st and requires businesses with 25 workers or more to register employees under E-verify, and have hospitals ask for citizenship status.

"This bill was passed with the complicity of legislators who are Cuban Americans like myself who proudly tell their own immigrant background to campaign then turn their backs on those seeking the same refuge that their families sought and received on this very spot," said Ana Sofia Pelaez from the Miami Freedom Project. 

"Immigrant communities are 20% of our state workforce, they contribute with over 13 billion to the state in taxes every single year," said David Metellus, Director of Policy and Politics at the Florida Immigration Solution. 

Meanwhile, members of the South Florida Haitian community not only asked for clemency, the asked for action. 

"We believe that the bill will be challenged, it is unconstitutional," said Ruth Genes a former undocumented Haitian now an immigration attorney. While addressing the undocumented community and referring specifically about answers they will have to provide when going to a hospital, she said, "you are not required to answer questions in terms of your immigration status regarding the hospital, do not." 

"I am leaving Florida, I have to do it for the sake of my children," said Dolores Lucas.  In tears she said what she and her five children are facing is very painful, only one of her kids was born in the U.S. the other four are from her country of origin, Guatemala. "I cannot afford to put my kids at risk, I don't know where I will go but I will leave Florida" said Lucas. 


Read more

We and our partners use cookies to understand how you use our site, improve your experience and serve you personalized content and advertising. Read about how we use cookies in our cookie policy and how you can control them by clicking Manage Settings. By continuing to use this site, you accept these cookies.