Florida is currently at the center of a debate about immigration driven by state Senate Bill 1718, which went into effect on July 1. The law makes substantial changes to the living and working conditions of undocumented immigrants in the state, including penalizing employers who knowingly hire undocumented migrants.
Florida’s immigrant population contributes $13 billion annually to the state’s economy, but the impact of the bill extends beyond economic statistics. Industries heavily reliant on immigrant labor, such as agriculture, construction, and hospitality, face the prospect of significant disruptions.
“The bill was, in my opinion, unnecessary and a solution in search of a problem that ended up creating a problem,” said Mike Hernandez, a political analyst. “Immigration needs to be run by the federal government.”
Additionally, there is apprehension regarding the law’s potential impact on entrepreneurial ventures and innovation, both of which are pivotal to Florida’s economic health.