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Breaking Down Florida’s New Anti-Immigration Bill

passport and documents

It’s no secret that in Florida, immigrants have routinely come under attack in recent years. A new anti-immigration bill from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis would ratchet up these attacks, taking the state's aggressive stance on immigration to an even more extreme level.

Florida Senate Bill 1718

Introduced in early April, Florida Senate Bill 1718 would mandate felony charges for any individual transporting or hiding undocumented immigrants, including the family members of said, undocumented individuals. The bill would also force hospitals to report a patient’s immigration status to the state, regardless of insurance status.

Due to the provisions listed above, 1718 has already drawn comparisons to Arizona Senate Bill 1070, commonly referred to by critics as the “show me your papers” law, which authorized law enforcement officers to request immigration paperwork of anyone they suspected of being undocumented. Yet, in many ways, Florida Senate Bill 1718 would actually go further than 1070, as it would also ban funding for granting identification documents to undocumented immigrants and make driver’s licenses issued outside of Florida to undocumented immigrants invalid in the state.

Broadly speaking, the goal of the bill is to criminalize the act of helping undocumented individuals get settled in the state, as it could reasonably be argued that housing or having even cursory interactions with an undocumented immigrant for any length of time counts as “hiding.” Yet the impact would be just as severe on undocumented individuals themselves, as it makes it harder for undocumented immigrants not only to get identification from the state but to use identification they have received outside the state of Florida within the state.

Hire Maney | Gordon | Zeller, P.A. to Protect Your Status

As Florida family immigration lawyers serving not only individuals in our state but clients nationwide, the Florida state legislature’s latest bill - which shows no signs of not passing - naturally, has us concerned. This is why it is now more important than ever to hire an immigration attorney who can help you get your or your loved ones’ documents in order and work to ensure their protected status. From naturalization to citizenship, we offer compassionate legal assistance to fit every individual’s needs. Call now for more information, and start protecting your family’s rights with a free case evaluation today.

Maney | Gordon | Zeller, P.A. is available by phone at (800) 708-4399, or you can request a consultation online. Habla español.


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