Controversial New Immigration Law in Florida Sparks Concerns and Criticism

The state of Florida has recently implemented a new immigration law that has sparked controversy and raised concerns among various groups.[0] The law, known as Senate Bill 1718, was signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis in May and went into effect on July 1, 2023.[1] It introduces a range of measures aimed at cracking down on undocumented immigrants in the state.

One of the key provisions of the law is that hospitals that accept Medicaid will now be required to ask patients about their immigration status before admitting them for care.[2] This information will then be submitted to the Agency for Health Care Administration, which will calculate the state’s annual cost of uncompensated care for undocumented individuals living in Florida.[2] This provision has raised concerns among health experts and migrant rights advocates who argue that it could deter undocumented immigrants from seeking necessary medical treatment out of fear of potential consequences.

Another significant aspect of the law is its impact on employers. The law mandates that employers with more than 25 employees must use the E-Verify system to verify the work authorization eligibility of new hires.[3] This is a website operated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that allows employers to check the legal status of their employees. The law also imposes penalties, both civil and criminal, on employers who knowingly employ undocumented workers.[4] These measures have been praised by some for cracking down on employers who hire undocumented immigrants, but critics argue that it could lead to exploitation and abuse of undocumented workers.

Additionally, the law invalidates driver’s licenses issued to undocumented immigrants by other states and prohibits local governments from offering identification cards to individuals without legal permanent status.[5] These measures have raised concerns about the potential impact on undocumented immigrants’ ability to access basic services and participate fully in society.

Perhaps one of the most controversial aspects of the law is the criminalization of transporting undocumented individuals into, within, or out of Florida.[6] It is now a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison to transport an undocumented individual into the state.[1] However, the law appropriates $12 million to a program that facilitates the transportation of undocumented individuals to another state, highlighting the contradictory nature of this provision.[1]

The implementation of this new immigration law has already had significant consequences. There have been reports of an exodus of migrant workers from Florida, particularly in the agriculture industry, as a result of fears and uncertainty surrounding the new law.[7] This has raised concerns about the impact on the state’s workforce and local economies.[8]

The law has also faced criticism from civil rights groups and advocates for immigrant rights. Several organizations, including the Southern Poverty Law Center and the American Civil Liberties Union, plan to file a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the law, arguing that it poses a threat to the rights and well-being of all Floridians.[9]

Overall, the new immigration law in Florida has sparked controversy and raised concerns about its potential impact on undocumented immigrants and the state as a whole. While proponents argue that the law is necessary to enforce immigration laws and protect the state’s resources, critics argue that it could lead to the violation of human rights and create a hostile environment for immigrant communities. The full implications of this law are yet to be seen, but it is clear that it has already had significant effects on various aspects of life in Florida.

0. “How construction will be affected by Florida immigration law” Wink News, 1 Jul. 2023,

1. “New Immigration Law Already Impacting Florida’s Economy” The National Law Review, 29 Jun. 2023,

2. “Florida will soon ask patients’ immigration status” Orlando Sentinel, 29 Jun. 2023,

3. “New Florida immigration law prompts lawsuit, protest” WPTV News Channel 5 West Palm, 4 Jul. 2023,

4. “Undocumented workers face uncertainty as immigration law takes effect in Florida” KTRK-TV, 3 Jul. 2023,

5. “Florida’s new immigration law previews a DeSantis presidency”, 2 Jul. 2023,

6. “Florida’s Anti-Immigration Law Will Impact the State in Five Major Ways” Newsweek, 30 Jun. 2023,

7. “Florida illegal immigration law: Migrants’ questions answered” Tallahassee Democrat, 26 Jun. 2023,

8. “Florida’s new immigration law sparks exodus of migrant workers” MSNBC, 1 Jul. 2023,

9. “New Florida immigration law now in effect” WPLG Local 10, 1 Jul. 2023,

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