Pro-immigrant groups fear the consequences, for these workers and for Florida’s economy, as Governor Ron DeSantis has made the fight against illegal immigration a cornerstone of his 2024 election campaign.
DeSantis first publicly listed his petition to Republicans on Wednesday and later in a conversation with businessman Elon Musk on Twitter outlined the election program, in which undocumented migrants have an unknown role.
“Our border is a disaster,” said the governor in his first official campaign, a message he repeated in the release of his request on Wednesday on Twitter, where he showed the southern border in an interview with Musk. The United States is “rushing” and drugs are “flooding” into the country.
The president of Florida, who is second in the polls far behind former President Donald Trump, the clear favorite to win the primaries, is a supporter of one of the tougher laws against irregular migration, which will take effect on July 1.
SB 1718 Law promoted by DeSantis
It is understood that if it reaches the White House, it will try to extend SB 1718 to the entire country. Although the first acid test in Florida, a state with a high dependence on undocumented labor in areas such as agriculture, hospitality, and construction must pass.
“Without force, SB 1718, promoted by Governor DeSantis, has already done human and economic damage to the residents of Florida,” said Juan Flores, president of the September 15 Foundation, which was established on June 1 in Tampa, west coast. the edge of the city, protesting “this racist and inhumane law.”
Honduran Carolina Pérez, 20 years old, who lived in the United States without documents for a year and a half, said: “We are not doing wrong to the president, we are migrants who do work that Americans do not do.”
She admits she’s afraid of cleaning up at a Miami hotel. She says she and other co-workers are considering moving to another state with less strict immigration laws.
After publicly knowing DeSanti’s intentions to reach the White House, the Florida Immigrant Coalition (FLIC) highlighted “DeSanti’s anti-immigrant campaign” in Florida, home to 4.5 million immigrants and the third most diverse state in “his” country. impotence to lead”.
“Instead of focusing on issues that would hurt Floridians, he attacked and vilified immigrants and used our communities as scapegoats,” added the organization, which recalled SB 1718 provides for up to 15 years in prison. something undocumented.
In recent months, the president of Florida did not miss the opportunity to criticize the immigration action of the administration of US President Joe Biden, and he promised to send public security forces to the southern border again, as he did in 2021.
DeSantis gained media attention last year when he arrested 50 Venezuelans who had crossed the southern border from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts.
In the opinion of Beatriz López, political director of the Migration Center, Florida is already feeling the economic consequences of the last president’s policies, with labor shortages and empty factories due to the growing fear of migrants through the SB law.
“DeSantis has made it a cornerstone of his presidential campaign as the state of Florida, its workers, businesses and economy suffer,” Lopez said.
Immigrant Carolina Pérez said she had a view on President Biden, who asked him to expand the benefits and scope of the Temporary Protection Program, which the US applies in favor of some Hondurans.
The undocumented girl says that if DeSantis were to reach the White House, she would be “swimming against the tide.” “But I doubt that President Trump will get ahead of himself,” he added.