Civil Rights Groups Issue Travel Advisories for Florida Over Hostile Policies Towards Minorities and LGBTQ+ Individuals

The NAACP, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and other civil rights groups have issued travel advisories for Florida, warning potential tourists that recent laws and policies championed by Governor Ron DeSantis and Florida lawmakers are “openly hostile toward African Americans, people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals”.[0] The NAACP’s advisory accuses the state of being “openly hostile toward African Americans, people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals” and comes in direct response to DeSantis’ “aggressive attempts to erase Black history and to restrict diversity, equity, and inclusion programs in Florida schools”.[1] LULAC’s advisory warns immigrants to stay clear of Florida following the passage of Senate Bill 1718, which requires private employers with 25 or more employees to use the federal E-Verify system to determine whether or not a potential employee is legally able to work in the United States.[2] The new Florida law also invalidates out-of-state identification cards, such as driver’s licenses, issued to illegal immigrants and prevents Florida-based agencies from issuing new cards.[3]

DeSantis’ push to shape Florida’s education system through regulating how schools deal with subjects such as race and gender has also been criticized.[4] On Monday, he signed a bill that will eliminate state or federal spending on diversity, equity and inclusion programs at publicly-funded colleges in Florida.[5] The new law is “really punching down on the communities that make this economy run”, said Francisco Maldonado, a farmer based in Homestead, Florida, adding that “immigrant workers, really, are the drivers of Florida’s economy”.[6] Critics also argue that the new law is “bad for a state’s economy” and creates a “clear and present danger to Latinos in Florida and to Americans in general”.[3]

In response to the travel advisories, DeSantis and his press secretary have dismissed them as “a joke” and a “stunt”. However, the warnings are likely to have an impact on Florida’s tourism industry, which is already struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The state is known for its theme parks, beaches and other attractions, which attract millions of tourists every year. However, with the travel advisories in place, potential visitors may choose to avoid the state or opt for alternative destinations. The travel advisories also highlight the ongoing tensions between civil rights groups and Republican-led states over issues such as immigration, diversity and inclusion. As such, the situation in Florida is likely to continue to attract scrutiny and debate in the coming months and years.

0. “Civil rights groups warn tourists about Florida” Toledo Blade, 21 May. 2023,

1. “NAACP Issues Formal Travel Advisory for Florida, Claiming ‘All-Out Attack’ on Black Americans” NBC 6 South Florida, 19 May. 2023,

2. “Latino Advocacy Group Issues Travel Advisory For Florida” Tampa, FL Patch, 16 May. 2023,

3. “Florida’s new immigration law prompts travel advisory from advocacy group” CBS Miami, 19 May. 2023,

4. “NAACP Says Florida ‘Openly Hostile’ in Travel Advisory Slamming DeSantis” Newsweek, 21 May. 2023,

5. “NAACP Warns Against Travel To Florida Over Ron DeSantis’ ‘Openly Hostile’ Politics” HuffPost, 21 May. 2023,

6. “Florida’s new immigration law prompts travel advisory from Latino advocacy group” KAKE, 20 May. 2023,

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