Ron DeSantis’ hardline immigration law sparks ‘Day Without Immigrants’ protest

Weeks after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (pictured at the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2022) signed one of the nation’s most stringent immigration laws, Latino-owned businesses and others are prepared to shut down in protest. File Photo by Joe Marino/UPI

June 1 (UPI) — Weeks after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed one of the nation’s most stringent immigration laws, Latino-owned businesses and others are prepared to shut down in protest.

On Thursday, businesses across the country will participate in “Un Día Sin Immigrantes” or “A Day Without Immigrants.” Six protests are planned in Florida, along with more in California, Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, South Carolina and Texas.

The law at the center of the protests, which takes effect on July 1, increases penalties for knowingly transporting undocumented immigrants, bans local governments and other organizations from “issuing identification documents” to undocumented immigrants and requires healthcare facilities to collect and report information on patients’ immigration status.

It also sets aside $12 million for the governor to transport migrants to other locations that are considered “sanctuaries.” DeSantis notably carried out this public demonstration last fall when he sent about 50 migrants to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts.

“”In Florida, we will not stand idly by while the federal government abandons its lawful duties to protect our country,” DeSantis said in a statement regarding the law. “The legislation I signed today gives Florida the most ambitious anti-illegal immigration laws in the country, fighting back against reckless federal government policies and ensuring the Florida taxpayers are not footing the bill for illegal immigration.”

The anti-immigration policy has been called an “anti-Christian family rampage” by the League of Latin American Citizens. The civil rights organization is among several to issue travel warnings for Florida due to its many newly passed laws targeting immigrants, people of color and the LGBTQ community.

“The actions taken by Gov. DeSantis have created a shadow of fear within communities across the state,” Lydia Medrano, vice president of the organization’s southeast chapter, said in a statement. “Food banks report witnessing individuals seeking one last food donation as they prepare to flee Florida. Families are torn apart as some members choose to stay while others have to leave, foreseeing worsening conditions for immigrants.”

Organizers of the protests have called on workers across the country to join in the cause and stay home on June 1, demonstrating the cultural and economic impact that would be felt in the United States without its immigrant population.


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