A handful of Florida Republicans have implored immigrants to stay in the state in the wake of recent laws signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Last month, Florida enacted a new bill, SB 1718, that will introduce tough new anti-immigration rules once it goes into effect on July 1. Among its provisions are requirements that businesses with 25 or more employees use E-Verify, a program that tracks whether people can legally work in the US, and that hospitals collect certain information about undocumented patients.
The E-Verify requirement has caused alarm among Republicans with constituencies close to the border or that use a significant amount of migrant labor. With the system in place, there are concerns that businesses will not be able to take advantage of the immigrant workforce they are used to, resulting in massive labor shortages.
On Monday morning, Florida Republican State Representatives Alina Garcia, Rick Roth, and Juan Fernandez Barquin spoke at an event in Hialeah, Florida, about the impending implications of SB 1718. At one point, Roth, as captured In a video shared by political activist Thomas Kennedy, he said the bill is meant to “scare” immigrants and urged attendees to convince their immigrant acquaintances to stay.
“This bill is supposed to scare you 100 percent,” Roth said. “I am a farmer and the farmers are very angry. We are losing employees who are already starting to move to Georgia and other states. It is urgent that you talk to all your people and convince them that you have resources, state representatives.” , other people who can explain the bill to you.”
Roth also said at one point that SB 1718 was more of a “political bill.”
news week has reached out to DeSantis’ media team by email for comment.
In another video shared by Kennedy, Rep. Garcia also says that SB 1718 is meant to scare people away from coming to Florida, adding that the new rules “have no force.”
“This is a bill to basically scare people away from coming to the state of Florida,” Garcia said. “And I think it has served its purpose… This bill really has no teeth.”
“There you have it,” Kennedy wrote in another tweet. “The same scumbag politicians who voted for this anti-immigrant crap admit they did it to scare people out of coming to Florida while at the same time begging immigrants in a church to talk to their community not to leave and keep working.” here. Everything is so disgusting.”
The bill has already caused a stir in Florida and beyond. Latin American truckers on social media encouraged each other on social media, shortly after the bill was signed into law, to boycott the state and refuse to deliver there.