Floridians Gather Across the State to Protest Law Targeting Undocumented Immigrants
A controversial Florida law that became effective on Saturday has caused an uproar among immigrant workers and their families.
The law, signed by Republican Governor and presidential candidate Ron DeSantis in May, eliminates the recognition of driver's licenses issued by other states to undocumented immigrants. Furthermore, the legislation carries severe consequences for those attempting to employ or transport undocumented migrants, as well as requires hospitals that receive Medicaid money to inquire about a patient's immigration status.
"We are hearing people are starting to leave. We're just gonna keep seeing that more as the law will take effect." Yvette Cruz with the Farmworkers Association of Florida said.
DeSantis states that this measure is necessary due to what he considers Biden's administration's failure to protect the borders. The law has caused fear among people like Ofelia Aguilar, an undocumented individual with U.S. citizen children. The farmworker fears she could be separated from them. She even failed to seek medical care for a back injury she sustained from falling off a truck, out of fear of being asked about her immigration status.
"I'm not going to leave my son behind," Aguilar said. "If I leave, my son is coming with me."
Around 10% of workers in Florida's most labour-demanding industries are undocumented, leading to both employers and employees being uncertain about what the new ruling will bring. On Saturday, Governor DeSantis approved more than 200 laws which will affect areas such as abortion, schooling and firearms.