On May 10, 2023, Gov. DeSantis signed a bill into Florida law with the purpose to intimidate and pressure the immigrant community in Florida. This law goes into effect on July 1, 2023.
We hope the information below is helpful to better understand the true impact of this law and whether it is necessary for an undocumented person to change their current activities within the state of Florida. Please only trust a reputable and experienced immigration lawyer to provide and clarify this information, because news articles and individual non-lawyers are not a reliable source.
What does new FL Anti-Immigration Law include?
Requires employers with 25 or more employees to use E-verify (E-Verify is a United States Department of Homeland Security website that allows businesses to determine the eligibility of their employees, both U.S. and foreign citizens, to work in the United States.)
Requires hospitals and ERs that receive state funding to collect immigration status information.
Creates criminal liability for traveling into the state of Florida with an undocumented person.
Requires “knowing and willful” state of mind.
Five or more separate offenses during a single episode would result in a second-degree felony.
Requires any undocumented person who has lived in FL for more than 30 days to have FL driver’s license; FL will not honor legally issued out-of-state driver’s licenses after 30 days
Commitment that FL local law enforcement, sheriffs and jails will contact ICE upon arrest for state offense to confirm if ICE wants to detain the person for removal proceedings
Allows law enforcement agencies to collect DNA samples from undocumented people detained under ICE detainers.
Limits the ability non-citizen lawyers to practice law (mainly seems to apply to DACA holders)
What is not included and not a crime in FL:
It is NOT a crime to live in FL as an undocumented person, or provide shelter/ rent space for family members, friends, or neighbors who are undocumented.
It is NOT a crime to provide transportation WITHIN the state of FL to an undocumented person.
E-verify is only required with 25 or more employees.
No REQUIREMENT to provide immigration status to hospitals or ERs collecting such data in order to receive care.
Worried about Medical Treatment?
Only General Admission Hospitals and ERs that receive state funding are required to ask about immigration status on registration forms.
Primary care, pediatricians, specialists, testing sites, and urgent care offices that do NOT receive state funding should not ask about immigration status.
Medical intake paperwork will include survey-type of question that asks, “Do you have or what is (your) lawful immigration status? Answer options should be: “Yes, No, or Decline to Answer.”
Registration forms should have an option to “Decline to Answer”. You should not be denied care by choosing, “Decline to Answer.”
Information gathering does not create the ability for providers to deny care.
HIPAA privacy laws are still in place; specifics about medical care cannot be disclosed.
The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship.