The law, Bill 1718 ("Florida Bill 1718"), is a subject that has been frequently commented on, asked for and also generated much alarm. But today, we're here to clear up some of your questions about it.
In May 2023, a bill was signed into law in Florida that aims to restrict some rights of immigrants living in the territorial limits of this state. Bill 1718, also known as the Immigration Cooperation Act, went into effect on July 1, 2023. The law is comprehensive and has several aspects that affect immigrants. For example:
Prohibits immigrants, who are not in legal status, from using driver's licenses valid within the state of Florida that have been issued in other states.
Requires doctors to report a patient's immigration status when they are admitted to the hospital.
Restricts their access to jobs.
Creates penalties for employers who knowingly employ unauthorized aliens, resulting in the payment of a daily fine in the amount of $1,000 and allowing for the suspension of the employer's licenses after multiple findings of noncompliance.
Prohibits a county or municipality from providing funds to any person, entity, or organization for the purpose of issuing an identification card or other document to an individual who does not provide proof of lawful presence in the United States.
Such action has generated a great conflict of opinions, where there are those who support the rights of immigrants, such as some political advocates, for example, who are already filing a challenge under the constitutionality of this law. Claiming that it has a prejudiced nature, aiming to silence individuals without status in the state. Other than that it hurts the fundamental rights of these people, and directly affects the state's economy, and consequently, its GDP. Since, there is already a large number of immigrants residing there and performing their labor. However, there are also those who defend it and believe that this law came with the aim of protecting the state, its citizens and maintaining order.
So far, this law is only in effect within the boundaries of the state of Florida. However, if you have been curious and want to know a more about it, what your rights are, or even how to stay legal within the United States, contact one of our attorneys to schedule a consultation and see what is the best path for your legalization.