The new law to combat illegal immigration is the most restrictive in U.S. history
On Wednesday (5/10), Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law SB-1718, which restricts several rights to undocumented immigrants in the state. Scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2023, the new legislation includes requirements, penalties and limits for aliens who are in an irregular immigration situation.
Among the many changes, the new law restricts access to the education system, invalidates driver’s licenses or identity licenses for the undocumented, and requires hospitals to collect data on the immigration status of patients who need medical assistance.
“Florida is traditionally a state where undocumented immigrants have always been marginalized and persecuted, but there has never been a bill as tough as this one. We are facing the most restrictive immigration law in the history of the United States. When SB-1718 is in effect, it will officially open the hunting season for undocumented immigrants in Florida,” said Marcelo Gondim, an immigration attorney in the United States with more than 20 years of experience.
SB-1718 also increases requirements for hiring immigrants and provides for audits of companies suspected of hiring undocumented immigrants. In addition, it cites that legal residents in Florida could be punished if they shelter, transport or hire undocumented immigrants.
“This bill will harm not only people in an irregular immigration situation but also Florida’s labor market. Several vital industries in the region rely on the labor of undocumented immigrants, primarily in construction, cleaning, and trade. In most cases, no Americans want to do these immigrants’ jobs,” Gondim said.
There is still hope for Florida’s undocumented immigrant community: the U.S. Supreme Court. “I believe there is a possibility that the Federal Court will veto all or at least part of SB-1718. After all, many constitutional rights are being violated, and it is clear that the goal of the current Florida government is to persecute people. Let’s hope judges opt for common sense and remember that the United States is a nation built and sustained by immigrants,” said Gondim, the founder of Gondim Law Corp., an immigration law firm in Los Angeles.
About the expert: Marcelo Gondim
Marcelo Gondim is a lawyer specializing in immigration to the U.S., with over 20 years of experience in green card and U.S. visa processes. He is licensed by the State of California. Marcelo was born in Brazil and also holds U.S. citizenship. He is the founder and principal attorney of Gondim Law Corp., an immigration law firm based in Los Angeles.