Migrants shaken by fear, uncertainty find ways to leave Florida
MIAMI - How are migrants in Florida without documentation, valid government identification to drive, fly or take trains getting to other states? Immigration advocates said groups shaken by uncertainty with state immigration policies find help.
Thomas Kennedy of the Florida Immigration Coalition, which works with 50 partner organizations to make the state welcoming for immigrants, has not seen such fear among migrants in a decade.
"These are people who traversed from central America sometimes on foot, figure out like visas to come here, trust me, leaving Florida (is) a shame," Kennedy said. "It's difficult but if they feel like they need to do it our community is super resourceful."
Those we met on construction sites last week claimed peers took off for other states without valid ID's.
"Yes, it's very ugly," an undocumented worker name Maria said.
The Florida Immigration Coalition connects migrants to resources, Kennedy said. He added that sometimes migrants find groups that help find work and school for undocumented immigrants in other states.
While FIC is not involved in transportation, migrants only rides out of Florida are full of risk, Kennedy said.
"There's always risk when you have to pack up your things, uproot your life and start over," he said. "It's like I told you they're finding a place that doesn't want them (in Florida) that's actively hostile to them. I mean, why would they stay here at a certain point, right? You say screw it. I'm going somewhere else."
That reaction comes days after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed sweeping immigration reforms that requires some employers to verify their workers' citizenship.
The governor said it ensures that Florida taxpayers are not "footing the bill for illegal immigration."
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