Immigration Intolerance

Immigration Intolerance

What might make DeSantis look good with the extreme right in a national presidential election bid is just about the most destructive and hurtful thing he could do to his own state.

-- Mike Fernandez, American Business Immigration Coalition

Ron DeSantis signed a harsh anti-immigration crackdown on May 10. NBC News reports the law:

The law almost immediately had a negative impact on Florida’s economy, reported WPLG-TV Miami.

“We know that the core economic engines of South Florida--agriculture, construction, hospital and tourism--are being staffed by immigrant workers. It’s immigrant workers who allow South Florida’s economy to be made possible,” said Oscar Londoño, We Count! co-executive director

The new law is reportedly inspiring truckers to boycott Florida. According to The Independent

Do not enter Florida. Let’s support immigrants. What they’re doing in Florida is not OK. I’m going to say it again, I won’t enter Florida, and neither will my truck. Let’s not pretend like we’re not all immigrants here,” one driver posted in Spanish on TikTok.

The new law was the latest salvo by DeSantis against immigrants. His previous actions prompted the Florida Immigrant Coalition to offer a dire travel advisory warning that Florida was hostile to immigrants and foreign visitors:

Travel to all areas of Florida should be done with extreme caution as it can be unsafe for people of color, individuals who speak with an accent, and international travelers. Every county in Florida poses a heightened risk of harassment, possible detainment, and potential family separation based on racial profiling.

The Florida Immigrant Coalition’s warning was in response to the state introducing what The New York Times called a “sweeping package of immigration measures that would represent the toughest crackdown on undocumented immigration by any state in more than a decade.”.

It’s peculiar that Florida would become a trailblazer for immigration intolerance. More than one in five Floridians were not born in the United States, and 722,000 American citizens in DeSantistan live in households with one or more undocumented immigrants. Miami is a sophisticated, world-renowned international destination that risks having its reputation tarnished by the backward Republican philistines in Tallahassee.

If the bundle of bigoted Republican bills comes to fruition, a Florida resident could be charged with a third-degree felony for knowingly transporting, concealing or harboring undocumented immigrants. That would be punishable by up to five years in prison. The New York Times discussed the ominous legal implications

While sponsors have said the legislation is not intended to target ordinary Floridians in their day-to-day lives, its potential applications are broad, legal analysts said: An American adult child of an undocumented immigrant driving a parent, a lawyer driving a client to court or someone driving a sports team that had a player without U.S. legal status could be exposed to criminal charges.
Similarly, the law could also apply to a landlord who rents property to an undocumented family or someone who has an undocumented person living in their home, such as a housekeeper or caretaker.

Felice Gorordo, a Miami entrepreneur working to attract businesses to the Sunshine State and create a tech hub, said legislation to scrap in-state tuition for undocumented students was particularly harmful to his efforts.

“We would be driving these students to other states when we need to do everything possible to keep our homegrown talent,” Gorodo told The New York Times.

There are mounting fears that Little Dic Ron’s bigoted bills in Tallahassee will lead to increased prejudice, discrimination and racial profiling.

“You are looking at a bill that creates an atmosphere where you could get targeted whether you are an immigrant, citizen or tourist,” said Felipe Sousa-Lazaballet, the executive director of Hope CommUnity Center, a nonprofit in Apopka, Fla. “You don’t know people’s immigration status by looking at them.”

IImmigration is the golden goose responsible for Florida’s incredible growth and prosperity. It’s unfortunate the goose is about to be strangled by a political grandstanding governor and his rubber-stamp cronies in the state legislature.

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