By Felicia J. Persaud
News Americas, FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Fri. June 2, 2023: With the stroke of his pen, Florida’s power drunk governor, Twitter Disaster and Presidential wannabe, Ron Death Santis, on May 10th, signed into law a measure that is comparable to Arizona’s SB 1070 of 2010.
For those who need a little reminder, SB 1070 or or the ‘Show Me Your Papers’ law, signed into law in April 2010 in Arizona, was the broadest and strictest anti-illegal immigration law in the United States when passed. The law required that state law enforcement officers attempt to determine an individual’s immigration status during a “lawful stop, detention or arrest” when there is reasonable suspicion that the individual is an” illegal immigrant.” It also imposed penalties on those sheltering, hiring and transporting unregistered migrants.
That law, according to The Center for American Progress, cost Arizona’s tourism and convention industry, lost hotel and lodging revenue to the state from cancelled conventions at some $45 million in just the first several months after enactment. The accompanying loss in direct spending by convention visitors who no longer came to the state brought the loss up to $141 million. The ripple effect included 2,761 lost jobs, $86.5 million in lost earnings, $253 million in lost economic output, and $9.4 million in lost tax revenues to the state.
Additionally, in just the first three months after Arizona enacted SB 1070, its bill for defending against several legal challenges to the new law topped $1 million, according to records released by the state.
On May 10th, Florida passed and Governor Death Santis, signed into law the copycat version, SB 1718. Come July 1st, this new law will make any Floridian “who knowingly and willfully transports an undocumented individual into the state,” a human smuggler. That comes with serious criminal penalties, including allowing for prosecution under the Florida Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization, (RICO), Act.
Additionally, the law now prohibits local governments in the state from issuing Identification Cards (ID) to undocumented immigrants and invalidates driver’s licenses issued to those without legal status who have moved to Florida from other states. Death Santis and crew also will require hospitals to collect and submit data on the costs of providing health care to the undocumented and require private employers with 25 or more employees to use the E-Verify system to verify a new employee’s employment eligibility to work legally.
The economic toll of this law will be felt as early as this summer while the state’s suddenly “woke” power drunk governor flies around the US jockeying to be noticed, and Floridians statewide bear the brunt of this copycat transgression.
So far, dozens of clips of empty fields, abandoned construction sites, and scores of truck drivers calling for boycotts of the state have racked up hundreds of thousands of views on TikTok and Twitter over the last month.
Both the League of United Latin American Citizens, (LULAC) and the NAACP Board of Directors have issued a formal travel advisory for the state of Florida.
“Florida is openly hostile toward African Americans, people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals. Before traveling to Florida, please understand that the state of Florida devalues and marginalizes the contributions of, and the challenges faced by African Americans and other communities of color,” the NAACP states.
Domingo Garcia, president of the Latino advocacy group League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), called the new immigration law “hostile and dangerous.”
“As a result of this for only the second time in LULAC history, we’re issuing a travel advisory for anybody traveling to Florida,” Garcia said.
Latin American truck drivers are threatening to stop delivering to and in Florida and business owners, especially in the construction and agriculture sector, say both sectors will be hurt as many immigrant workers leave or decline to show up.
Add to that, a movement for an immigrant labor strike is gaining traction for immigrants to shut down on June 1st.
That will definitely shatter Death Santis’ April boast of a 2.6 percent unemployment rate; 200,000 new business formations; 336,200 private sector jobs added and 37.9 million total tourists for the first quarter of 2023.
Like many companies and tour operators did during the Arizona madness, Florida must be boycotted as a place to hold events, travel or do business in order to save all Floridians from the Shakespearean fool with dark dreams of becoming king.
The writer is publisher of NewsAmericasNow.com – The Black Immigrant Daily News. She can be reached at fe*****@ca*****.com