By Rick Martin First Posted: May 19, 2023 01:28 AM EDT
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed earlier this month SB 1718, which bans businesses from hiring illegal immigrants. However, this could badly backfire on the state as reports of migrants boycotting work in Florida have spread throughout social media.
According to Vox, posts featuring empty fields, abandoned construction sites, and scores of truck drivers calling for boycotts against Florida have surfaced on TikTok and Twitter over the last month.
That was reportedly the result of DeSantis signing SB 1718 into law. Around 800,000 undocumented immigrants call Florida home, and this new law will directly affect them.
The law does not just affect the workplace either, as it requires healthcare providers to report undocumented immigrant patients.
The law had already caused much panic even before DeSantis signed it, with reports of construction workers not showing up to work for fear of deportation. The same can be said for farms and other sites that employ illegal immigrants as their main labor force.
Experts have said this could cause widespread labor shortages in Florida, which has relied so much on undocumented immigrants to work several jobs deemed crucial to the state’s economy.
Several businesses in construction, landscaping, and agriculture have already terminated undocumented immigrants because of the new law that punishes firms that employ them. Many of these undocumented immigrants already plan to move out of the state.
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Impact of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ New Immigration Law Remains to Be Seen
The law is set to be implemented on July 1. However, its effects are already being felt in Florida, with around 300,000 undocumented immigrants working at Florida farms and making up 60% of the state’s farm workers.
Videos of Florida farms filled with produce but having no workers to harvest them have popped up all over social media. However, experts said it is still too soon to say what the impacts of the lack of immigrants would be.
“It remains to be seen, I mean, you know, boycotts and strikes and work stoppages take a lot of time, a lot of a lot of organization. And this is bubbling up. But again, the law hasn’t even gone into effect,” said Thomas Kennedy, a spokesperson for the Florida Immigrant Coalition.
Truckers are already boycotting Florida in solidarity with other Latinos who might be forced out of their jobs in the state. According to the Pensacola News Journal, several truckers, especially Latinos, have called for a boycott and pledged not to enter the state.
Like in Florida, Alabama Made a Similar Move, and It Did Not Go Well
MSNBC reported that what Florida is doing has already happened in another red state. Alabama reportedly had some economic repercussions after banning immigrant workers.
Its economy relied on hand-picked produce such as tomatoes, blueberries, and squash. The farm industry in the state largely employed undocumented immigrants.
Once these workers were banned, produce rotted in the fields as they remained unpicked. This is happening again in Florida as videos of abandoned workplaces draw concerns about how DeSantis’ new law would affect the state’s economy.
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Written by: Rick Martin
WATCH: Law Targeting Undocumented Migrants Affecting Farms, Construction Sites – From CBS Miami
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