Latino immigrants demonstrate against the new Florida immigration law

More than a thousand people, most of them Latino families with children, participated this Saturday in a march in rejection of the immigration law that will come into effect next July in Florida, whose promoter is Governor Ron DeSantis, who aspires to compete for the White House in 2024.

The “March of Unity” toured the streets of downtown Homesteada city in South Florida located about 60 kilometers from Miami and with an important community of Central American and Mexican farm workers.

In one of the stages, the demonstrators gathered in a square in front of the municipal government headquarters with banners with legends such as “Our economy depends on immigrants”, “I am a worker, not a criminal” and “We produce for the wealth of this country”.

Community leaders and representatives of religious denominations in defense of the “dignity of migrants”and to explain the scope of SB1718 and the risks it poses to undocumented immigrants in Florida.

According to various sources, there are around 800,000 undocumented immigrants in a state of 21.5 million inhabitants.

“We want the community’s resistance to SB1718 to be visible, regardless of whether it is challenged in the courts and in political arenas,” said Oscar Londoño of We Count! (We count), the organizing organization.

The new law not only punishes companies that employ undocumented immigrants with heavy finesbut to family members or other people who help them, does not recognize the licenses to drive vehicles issued by more benevolent states and forces medical centers to ask about the immigration status of a patient to be registered.

Pro-immigrant organizations and the Florida Democratic Party have criticized the law, one of the toughest in the country, not only because of the suffering it brings to the undocumented in Florida, but because of the effects on the state’s economy and especially agriculture, tourism and construction.

“We are already hearing from people who have decided to leave or are planning to do so for fear of being detained and deported and losing everything they have built here. Employers are also very concerned, because they are losing their employees,” Londoño said.

DeSantis, who officially registered this week his candidacy for the primaries in which the candidate for the White House of the Republican Party will be chosen in 2024, has made it clear in his first interviews as a candidate that he is going to make immigration the workhorse of his campaign.

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