Understanding The New Florida Immigration Law

Since its passage, the new Florida immigration law has sparked much interest and discussion. It strives to set norms and guidelines for many aspects of immigration to address immigration-related concerns inside the state. Understanding this law’s complexities is critical for residents and those wishing to relocate to Florida.

With significant consequences for workforce dynamics, social services, and law enforcement, it is critical to investigate the law’s provisions and ramifications to understand its influence on immigration and the greater community fully.

Overview of the New Florida immigration law

Table of Contents

Senate Bill (SB) 1718 is the new immigration law of Florida, signed by Governor Ron DeSantis. The new immigration law makes significant modifications to the state’s immigration rules. It requires hospitals to collect immigration status information, imposes penalties for hiring undocumented immigrants, and expands employment verification screening requirements for employers.

This law invalidates out-of-state driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants, creates criminal penalties for transporting undocumented immigrants into the state, and increases funding for relocating migrants. These policies expand the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s authority and have consequences for immigrant families, the economy, and businesses.

When will the New law take effect?

Senate Bill (SB) 1718, Florida’s new immigration law, took effect on July 1, 2023. This means that the legislation’s provisions, like hospital requirements, hiring undocumented immigrants penalties, and employment verification screening, took effect on that date. It is a substantial shift in the state’s immigration rules, with implications for immigrant families, the economy, and many industries.

5 highlights of the New Florida immigration law

Senate Bill (SB) 1718, Florida’s new immigration law, makes numerous important modifications to the state’s immigration rules. Here are the five most significant changes brought forth by the legislation:

1. Information on Patients’ Immigration Status: The law requires hospitals to collect information on their patients’ immigration status. Due to worries about immigration enforcement, these changes can cause heightened anxiety and hesitation among immigrant families seek healthcare services.

2. Penalties for hiring undocumented workers: Senate Bill 1718 imposes fines on employers who hire unauthorized workers. This rule tries to discourage his firms from hiring unauthorized labor while encouraging compliance with immigration laws. Violations may result in monetary penalties and other legal ramifications.

3. Employment verification screening expansion: The law extends the necessity for employment verification screening to all employers with 25 or more employees. This means that a greater proportion of firms in Florida will be obliged to verify their employees’ employment eligibility using the federal E-Verify system or equivalent processes.

4. Out-of-State Driver’s licenses are null and void: SB 1718 nullifies out-of-state driver’s licenses given to undocumented immigrants. This step makes it more difficult to obtain and retain valid driver’s licenses, potentially limiting their mobility and access to transportation.

Increased immigration enforcement power: The Act increases the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s (FDLE) power to conduct immigration enforcement activities. This involves working with federal immigration agencies and conducting immigration-related investigations. The heightened enforcement tactics aim to strengthen immigration control within the state.

Effects of the New Immigration Law

1. Healthcare access: The law’s provision that hospitals gather immigration status information may discourage immigrant families, including U.S.-born Americans in mixed-status families, from seeking healthcare services. Fears of impending immigration enforcement could decrease access to necessary medical treatment, significantly impacting these families’ overall health and well-being.

2.  Economic impact: Industries that rely significantly on immigrant labor, such as agriculture, construction, service, and transportation, will likely experience difficulties. The terms of the law may result in labor shortages, abandoned building projects, and prospective trucker boycotts. These consequences may affect the state’s economy, reducing productivity, job prospects, and tax revenues.

3. Social climate: The new Florida immigration law could fuel immigrant communities’ concerns and anxieties. Concerns regarding immigration enforcement policies may result in increased tensions, damaged community connections, and a loss of confidence between immigrants and law enforcement organizations. It has the potential to generate a climate of uncertainty and antagonism, undermining social cohesion.

4. Legal and administrative constraints: Extending employment verification screening procedures to all employers with 25 or more employees will add to businesses’ administrative burdens. They will be required to assure compliance, which may result in additional expenses and operational difficulties.

5. Immigration enforcement: The law’s enhancement of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s authority in immigration enforcement may result in more arrests and detentions of undocumented immigrants. This approach to enforcement may have consequences for immigrant rights, due process, and community-police relations, raising concerns about civil liberties and potential human rights violations.

The bottom line

This new law is the state government’s efforts to handle immigration concerns and gain control over immigration-related issues in Florida. However, the effects of these changes are the topic of continuous discussions and arguments about their effectiveness, potential consequences, and broader implications for immigrant communities, the economy, and social dynamics.

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