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The facts about SB 1718

On Behalf of | Jul 10, 2023 | Immigration Law

Florida’s new immigration law, SB 1718, has received a lot of media attention. If you are a foreign national living in the Sunshine State, you may be worried that it could threaten your ability to live, work and study here. Or you might be a business owner concerned about how SB 1718 will affect your employees.

The critical thing to know is that SB 1718, which went into effect on July 1, targets undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers only. Someone with a green card, immigrant visa or nonimmigrant visa should not be affected by this new law, which is intended to remove undocumented immigrants from Florida to other states and make it more difficult for them to get jobs, get healthcare or even drive a car.

What will SB 1718 do?

Specifically, SB 1718 will:

  • Allocate $12 million for Gov. Ron DeSantis to forcibly transport asylum seekers and other undocumented migrants from Florida to certain other states.
  • Require medium- and large-sized employers to use the federal E-Verify system to check the immigration status of new hires.
  • Require hospitals to ask patients about their immigration status.
  • Make it a crime to knowingly drive across state lines with an undocumented immigrant in the vehicle.
  • Refuse to recognize an out-of-state driver’s license if the license holder does not have legal immigration status.
  • Ban undocumented immigrants from practicing law in state courts.

Note that none of these changes affect anyone with legal status to live in the United States. But if you are a permanent resident or have a visa, but you have a parent, child, spouse or other relative who does not, they could be at risk — even if they have applied for asylum.

If you believe that SB 1718 could threaten you or your family’s ability to stay in Florida, consider speaking with an immigration attorney.