The Immigration Storyline Ron Desantis Doesn’t Want You to Focus On

The Immigration Storyline Ron Desantis Doesn’t Want You to Focus On


Editorial credit: William Hunton /

Washington, DC – Yesterday, Ron DeSantis traveled to Arizona for an anti-immigration speech and garnered more attention for his latest dehumanizing political stunt to fly migrants to California. As the New York Times correctly noted, “stoking outrage is the point.”

While Gov. DeSantis is clearly trying to play to the Republican primary base and emphasize his nativist bona fides, he is less interested in having the spotlight on the growing blowback and consequences of his signature anti-immigrant bill in Florida.

State and local media in Florida continue to highlight the growing fear and economic concern of workers and employers about the impact of the bill that DeSantis helped muscle through the state legislature. A new story in the Bradenton Herald, “‘Absolutely panicking.’ New Florida law has Bradenton immigrants leaving, employers worried” is a must-read in that regard.

According to Vanessa Cárdenas, Executive Director of America’s Voice:

Ron DeSantis wants to own the libs and inflame the MAGA base, not focus on how his signature anti-immigrant bill harms his state’s crucial industries and the Florida economy.

Below, find key excerpts from the Bradenton Herald story, “‘Absolutely panicking.’ New Florida law has Bradenton immigrants leaving, employers worried”:

It’s no secret that many roofers, asphalt spreaders, tomato pickers, dish washers and the crews that mow neighborhood lawns are immigrants. Not all of them have the proper documents to work in the United States, yet native-born Americans are not exactly clamoring for those jobs.

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ recently signed Senate Bill 1718, making E-Verify mandatory for employers with 25 or more employees, starting July 1. It is a federal online database that instantly confirms a person’s eligibility to work in the U.S., including whether they are a citizen or have a Social Security number.

The bill has created fear and panic among immigrants, and raised concerns in the wider Latino community, especially agricultural areas like Manatee and DeSoto counties.

Some have already left the state, and employers are worried.

… “We have had a number of employers say they have had some people leave or are considering leaving,” said Kelly Kirschner, chair of Unidos Now and a former mayor of Sarasota, of the direct effect of SB 1718.

“Go to downtown Bradenton or Lakewood Ranch and walk around the job sites and see who the workers are. We have functional zero unemployment in Florida,” Kirschner said, adding that the construction, agriculture and hospitality sectors will all feel the effects of SB 1718.

…C. J. Czaia, a Bradenton personal injury attorney and long-time advocate for immigration reform, said that a local construction company recently invited him to talk to its workers to allay concern about SB 1718.

“They are panicking. People aren’t going to the hospital for fear of being turned over to immigration officials. They are absolutely panicking,” he said.

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