League of United Latin American Citizens issues Florida travel advisory

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Leaders of the League of United Latin American Citizens discuss their concerns about Florida's new immigration law at a virtual press conference on Wednesday. By Ta'Leah Van Sistine / WMNF News

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The League of United Latin American Citizens, or LULAC, has announced a travel advisory for anyone going to Florida, in light of the state’s new immigration law.

Domingo Garcia, the national president of the League of United Latin American Citizens, or LULAC, said Florida’s new immigration law is forcing the organization to do something they’ve only done once before. 

“We’re issuing a travel advisory for anybody traveling to Florida,” Garcia said at a press conference on Wednesday. “Florida is a dangerous, hostile environment for law-abiding Americans and immigrants.”

The law enforces a slew of penalties against people who employ or aid immigrants lacking permanent legal status. 

Starting July 1, employers with 25 or more employees have to use the E-Verify system to confirm new workers’ employment eligibility. Employers who don’t use the E-Verify system will be fined $1,000 per day, according to a graphic on Governor Ron DeSantis’ website. 

Anyone who assists a minor, or five or more immigrants, in illegally crossing the U.S. border will be subject to a $10,000 fine and up to 15 years in prison. Hospitals will also be required to collect and submit data on the costs of providing health care to these individuals. 

Lydia Guzmán, the chair for LULAC’s immigration committee, said she’s concerned this law will prevent immigrants from seeking essential medical care. 

“People will die because of this,” Guzmán said. “That is un-Christian, that is un-American.”

LULAC leaders compare this law to Arizona Senate Bill 1070, which made it a state crime to be in the U.S. illegally. It became known as the “show me your papers” law.

According to the Arizona Republic, the law cost businesses $141 million in lost revenue. Guzmán said Florida could suffer a similar economic impact with the state’s new law. 

LULAC leaders said they are looking into filing a lawsuit in federal court, as they believe immigration laws should only be enacted at a national, not a state, level.

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