Immigration Law Florida – New Laws Affecting Immigration

The new law makes it illegal for anyone, including US citizens, to transport undocumented immigrants into Florida. Furthermore, penalties have been increased for larger businesses employing undocumented workers, invalidating driver’s licenses issued to non-citizens from other states, and conferring new powers upon Florida’s chief of domestic security.

According to advocates, DeSantis’ efforts are creating a toxic, fearful atmosphere that puts both family members of illegal aliens and American citizens under siege.

Basic Concepts

Florida’s new immigration law makes it illegal for businesses to hire undocumented workers, with harsh penalties applicable if this practice occurs. The legislation comes into effect July 1 as part of Governor Ron DeSantis’ immigration reform package. It seeks to end illegal immigration by making transport or harboring certain undocumented immigrants a third-degree felony, invalidating driver’s licenses issued from other states to those not legally living here, and mandating hospitals collect information regarding patients’ immigration statuses during patient admissions.

The new law has raised considerable alarm among many, who fear it criminalizes everyday activities across communities and its impact on faith groups, businesses, and schools. Furthermore, constitutional questions arise as its broad language threatens to criminalize normal activities that could easily be misconstrued as immigration-related activity.

There are multiple questions surrounding the constitutionality of this new law, particularly its reliance on the Full Faith and Credit clause of the federal constitution, which requires states to recognize each other’s laws, records, and court proceedings as lawful and binding precedents. As a result, it could face legal challenges from various sources.

Immigration lawyers have denounced the law as overly broad. It could criminalize housing undocumented relatives or sheltering undocumented immigrants and expands Florida’s RICO statute to include human smuggling as an activity that can result in prison time of up to 30 years and an administrative fine of $10,000.

Immigrant advocates have also voiced criticism against this law for its harsh penalties on employers who violate it, with fines of up to $1,000 a day if companies do not use E-Verify to verify employees. This has caused some employees to leave their jobs due to penalties; social media posts show vacant construction sites and fruit and vegetable fields that have gone rotten without laborers to maintain them.

Legal Requirements

Immigrants living in Florida must meet strict legal requirements to work legally, so hiring an immigration attorney in Florida can guide you through this process and protect your rights. Under Florida law, private employers must use the E-Verify system to verify new employees. Any violations could incur fines of up to $1,000 for each violation.

This new rule goes into effect on July 1. It will have far-reaching ramifications on many companies that employ undocumented workers, potentially leading to significant job losses across the state – particularly among companies dependent on immigrant labor for employment. While DeSantis claims his hard stance against immigration is necessary to protect Florida citizens, its uncertainty has caused considerable alarm among immigrant communities, prompting many individuals to leave Florida altogether.

One provision in the new law makes it illegal for anyone to transport undocumented immigrants into Florida – this provision targets human traffickers who take people across borders in search of work – however, Florida law enforcement can participate in federal immigration enforcement actions while coordinating related efforts under its authority.

An essential aspect of the new law is requiring hospitals that accept Medicaid to inquire about all patients’ status. They will add a question asking whether they are U.S. citizens, legal residents, or undocumented. They must also submit quarterly reports with patient response data for each person they inquired about.

Multiple groups have taken steps to challenge the constitutionality of this new law, such as the Southern Poverty Law Center, ACLU of Florida, and Americans for Immigrant Justice, who plan on filing suit against it. They believe the state is violating their Constitution by criminalizing an entire group without giving adequate notice and opportunity to challenge it.

There have been reports of the law forcing many residents of Florida to leave, potentially harming its economy and leading to fewer job opportunities for migrant laborers – which would put families under financial strain. Furthermore, quitting is difficult when you have children and elder family members living here who depend on you financially.

Filing a Petition

Florida law empowers state and local agencies to assist federal immigration law enforcement efforts. Under this bill, anyone transporting illegal aliens into or within their state without inspection becomes criminal. Furthermore, hospitals that accept Medicaid must collect data on how much unlawful aliens cost them in care costs. It also invalidates out-of-state driver’s licenses if an individual cannot provide evidence they have legally resided in the U.S. It also bars counties and municipalities from funding organizations which issue ID documents to illegal immigrants and prohibits undocumented immigrants from practicing law within state borders and requires anyone who registers to vote to affirm they are U.S. citizens and legal residents.

This new legislation has caused great alarm among immigrant families, prompting many of them to leave the state altogether. Even some Republican legislators have acknowledged that its purpose was to intimidate individuals away.

Though its goal was to prevent illegal immigration, this bill has also adversely affected businesses reliant on migrant workers for essential services like construction, agriculture, and hospitality. Furthermore, existing labor shortages have worsened further – likely to continue harming state economies.

One of the law’s key provisions is an E-Verify requirement for businesses with 25 or more employees; failing to do so could incur financial penalties. Furthermore, using false identities or passports to get hired illegally will now be illegal and severe fines will be levied against companies that employ them.

Under federal law, hospitals must collect information on the immigration status of patients — which could give rise to privacy concerns. A doctor treating undocumented patients in Tampa told Axios that his clients fear seeking treatment even though individual data won’t be shared; similarly, a pastor transporting immigrant parishioners for medical appointments was worried they may face criminal charges for performing this act, which they consider morally just.


At an immigration law Florida consultation, your attorney will review your case history and documents to identify the most likely path forward. He will then educate you about the process while answering any of your questions; also highlighting potential outcomes of your case, and explaining his best representation tactics for you. Typically he charges a consultation fee that reflects his time and talent investment into it; some attorneys even credit this towards any legal work they perform for their client afterward.

One of the critical provisions in Florida’s new immigration law is making smuggling or transporting undocumented people illegally into the state a second-degree felony, potentially having serious repercussions for families, communities, and faith-based organizations who help family, friends, or coworkers with everyday tasks such as transportation or temporary housing needs. This could impact families or community members providing such assistance, while churches may even become targets due to delivering such services to needy people.

SB 1718 strengthens human trafficking and smuggling penalties to bring them in line with other second-degree felony crimes such as drug possession or assault. Furthermore, this legislation mandates businesses with more than 25 employees use the E-Verify database while hospitals receiving Medicaid funds must check patient immigration statuses.

Legal advocates from organizations such as the Southern Poverty Law Center, American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, ACLU of Illinois, and Americans for Immigrant Justice have joined together in filing suit against this legislation in court. Their lawsuit specifically targets Section 10, which deals with the transport of immigrants into Florida.

Florida’s new immigration law has created an atmosphere of fear in Florida, leading some undocumented immigrants to leave and leaving some businesses that rely on their labor without a workforce. State GOP leaders have attempted to explain it, but this has done little to allay fears among the public – one doctor from Lutz who owns a medical clinic told Axios that patient visits had already decreased since the implementation of this legislation took effect.