Floridians Launch Massive Strike To Protest Ron DeSantis’s Cruel Agenda

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Floridians were participating Thursday in a temporary strike effort that was meant to protest a law recently signed by the state’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis that targets undocumented immigrants and imposes drastically harsh penalties for some of the basic acts that could involve these people.

For instance, DeSantis’s legislative plan includes special targeting of so-called smuggling, a concept that could be used to legally target somebody who is simply driving an undocumented immigrant or otherwise providing them with transportation, without any accompanying covert conspiracy. As explained in a recent article from NPR, human smuggling is defined under the legislation to mean transporting an individual whose immigration status was known or could be expected to be known without what’s called inspection by the relevant authorities. There aren’t many details made formal about what that actually means, furthering an air of intimidation, and it doesn’t seem there are even exceptions under the law for someone just giving a member of their family or someone similar a ride.

DeSantis’s law also demands new reporting about costs incurred in providing health care to undocumented immigrants, with the obviously accompanying possibility of further shunning these communities.

The strike effort was nationwide, though participation in Florida itself was a high-profile subject of news reports. Across just two cities in central Florida (Ocoee and Apopka), about 40 businesses were reported by a local NBC affiliate to be participating. Those joining were from across industries ranging from construction to food service, and there were also accompanying protests involving both vehicle caravans and gathered groups. According to a report from a source called UPI, accompanying demonstrations were under development in California, Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, South Carolina, and Texas.

In conjunction with these developments, many anecdotes have begun circulating of people exiting Florida amid worry about state authorities going after them. It’s not just immigrant families, either, as DeSantis and his GOP allies have also imposed a series of new restrictions for LGBTQ+ residents of Florida, even enacting a new bathroom bill that restricts transgender people. Check out video coverage below: