Farmworkers Launch Legal Move To Stop Anti-Immigrant Law From Ron DeSantis


Florida state authorities are facing a new legal challenge in federal court over certain provisions of the law that recently took effect after GOP Governor Ron DeSantis’s signature targeting undocumented immigrants.

The new case, which has the involvement of the American Immigration Council, the Southern Poverty Law Center, American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Florida, and Americans for Immigrant Justice, challenges the arguably vague restrictions put on providing transportation to an undocumented immigrant. Fears have circulated that the imprecise approach taken in the new law could leave individuals legally vulnerable in very basic situations, like giving a ride to an undocumented family member or friend. Transportation that the American Immigration Council summarized as heading into Florida without accompanying “inspection,” as the standard has been described, is broadly forbidden and lumped with allegations of trafficking.

“The complaint states that it is unconstitutional for a state to unilaterally regulate federal immigration and subject people to criminal punishment without fair notice and that Florida’s use of the term “inspection” is incoherent and unconstitutionally vague,” according to the Florida arm of the American Civil Liberties Union participating in the lawsuit. There have been various descriptions for the “inspection” that’s needed, ranging from something upon the individual’s entry to the United States to an encounter with authorities taking place later. The new lawsuit was filed on behalf of the Farmworker Association of Florida and individuals facing impacts from DeSantis’s initiative.

The new law from DeSantis also blocks the use in Florida by undocumented immigrants of certain identification materials issued in other states and even mandates that certain medical facilities produce data specifically on the cost of providing care to undocumented patients. The precedent of Republicans targeting undocumented communities could suggest that singling out such individuals in this context — seeking health care — would precede outright antagonism.

Immigration issues have also featured federally in pushes to impeach the president. Proposed articles of impeachment against Biden from Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) and others allege that operational control at the southern border has gone completely to foreign criminal organizations, which is not remotely accurate.