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Woke Wars Episode 4: Undocumented and unwelcome in Florida

Woke Wars Episode 4: Undocumented and unwelcome in Florida
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Our failed immigration policy is a controversial topic across the country, but especially in Florida, where Gov. Ron DeSantis has made it a hallmark of his administration and his intent to run for president.

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In this episode of “Woke Wars,” the Miami Herald opinion team discusses an aggressive immigration bill moving through the Florida Legislature, Senate Bill 1718, which, in essence, makes life harder for any undocumented person in Florida — and that’s the idea.

The bill’s E-Verify component, the system used to check whether a job applicant is a legal resident, will increase penalties for those who still hire undocumented immigrants. So employers will think twice.

The bill also makes it a third-degree felony to “transport” or “harbor” the undocumented. That applies to smugglers, but it also means someone from Miami who drives to Texas to pick up a relative who crossed the border could be charged under this law.

And the bill, sponsored by State Sen. Blaise Ingoglia, also requires hospitals to collect immigration status information for all patients, but only to keep track of the money spent, not to discourage anyone from seeking medical help.

Anti-immigrant measures from Gov. DeSantis are nothing new.

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He made national headlines last year by paying to have Venezuelan immigrants who crossed the border in Texas flown and then bused to Martha’s Vineyard, where they were not expected.

Before that inhumane move, the governor suspended state funding to nonprofits that helped immigrants, and last year as thousands of Cubans and Haitians were arriving in South Florida, he deployed the National Guard.

And DeSantis has the power to discourage more undocumented immigrants. In a special session this year, the Legislature handed him millions of dollars and the power to relocate arriving immigrants from any state to another — but not Florida.

Woke Wars, a weekly opinion podcast by the Miami Herald Editorial Board, explores the culture wars that are dominating the Florida Legislature. Listen to new episodes every Thursday on Spotify, Stitcher, Apple, Amazon Music or wherever you get your podcasts. Have a question? Want to share some feedback? Email heralded@miamiherald.com with the subject line WOKE WARS.

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Read more perspectives on Florida’s anti-immigrant stance here:



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Written by Politixia

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