SB 168 goes into effect

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, July 1, 2019

Contact: Melissa Taveras, melissa@floridaimmigrant.org, 786.956.0352
Elizabeth Fernandez, elizabeth@flicvotes.org, 786.956-2079

DeSantis’ Deportation Bill Goes Into Effect Today

As the governor’s deportation bill goes into effect today, immigrant advocates vow to educate Floridians about their rights

Florida – Governor DeSantis deportation Senate Bill 168, which erodes public safety and undermines local authority, goes into effect today. This bill is already instilling fear in immigrant communities and projections show the state will lose $76.7 million in federal taxes and $44.7 million in state and local taxes. In total, Florida will lose $3.5 billion in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) according to a study by the New American Economy. However, Desantis’s political interests and the for-profit prisons that donate to him will net tremendous financial gains now that SB168 has been implemented.

A bipartisan coalition, including business leaders, police chiefs, children and faith leaders spoke against the family separation bill that does nothing more than instill fear among its community members and undermine already burdened local authorities. Yet GOP leadership in Florida, which is home to the nation’s largest private prison company, have worked in favor of for-profit corporations at the expense of the safety of all Floridians. Defenders of immigrant communities have launched a Know Your Rights campaign to educate Floridians on their constitutional rights.

The following is a statement from Isabel Vinent, Interim Executive Director of FLIC Votes:

“Sadly, Governor DeSantis and other Republicans, with a few brave exceptions such as Sen. Anitere Flores, betrayed our immigrant families by supporting a bill that instills fear in our communities and will cost our taxpayers billions in economic losses. Days before the bill seemed ready to die in the legislature, DeSantis took it upon himself to personally call elected officials, hinting that he was willing to remove people from office. Instead of a leader working toward creating a more equitable state for all, we have a governor dead set on meeting his individual political agenda. DeSantis has proven himself to be a leader for white supremacists and for-profit prison corporations agendas. Eroding the Constitution in the interest of for-profit prison is shameful and disturbing. This is not who we are. However, despite the many ways DeSantis’ deportation bill erodes our Constitution, we still have rights regardless immigration status. We are joining with immigrant advocates throughout the state to educate our communities on their rights. Whether questioned by a police officer, security guard or an immigration officer, we still have a constitutional right to remain silent and demand legal representation. We will make sure all Floridians know their rights and are prepared to do everything possible to keep our families together.”

The following is a statement from Nery L., an immigrant who could be impacted by SB 168:

“Many of my family, friends and immigrant community run the risk of being criminalized every time they drive to work or while taking their kids to school. I remember my parents sacrificing their health to drive to get to work and support me and my three siblings. It was always a blessing to see them come home after working over 12 hours, always a relief when my mom would make it back home after driving my little brother to his autistic treatment appointments, knowing that every day they risked their lives to drive in order to bring food to the table and provide us with a home. Today is a sad scary day for us. Too many elected officials in Florida have turned their backs on our immigrant community by passing this deportation bill.”

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Florida Immigrant Coalition Votes seeks to expand democracy by shaping an active and conscious electorate which reflects the diversity of Florida, while engaging those who can’t yet vote.