MIAMI, Florida (FloridaToday.news) – Migrant workers and advocacy groups are filing a lawsuit challenging Florida’s newest immigration law, Senate Bill 1718, which some consider to be the state’s toughest immigration crackdown to date.
Due to the entry into force of SB 1718, certain out-of-state driver’s licenses are no longer valid in Florida. The suing groups claim the law is “unconstitutional”.
According to the press release, the complaint states that section 10 of the bill is “unconstitutional for a state that unilaterally regulates federal immigration and criminalizes people without fair notice.” incoherently and unconstitutionally vague.”
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The federal lawsuit was filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Florida ACLU, Americans for Immigration Justice, and the American Council on Immigration.
“As news comes in of the foreseeable damage caused to Florida by SB 1718, we are filing this lawsuit to stop the unconstitutional criminalization of the immigrant community in a state where a fifth of the population was born abroad. This law is not a solution to any problem. This is an attempt to scapegoat and intimidate vulnerable families and workers already saddled with the hardships of the federal immigration process and start a fight with the federal government to satisfy the ambitions of a few politicians. Our mission is to uphold the Constitution and protect our communities from the growing threat of discrimination posed by this new Florida law,” Amien Kaku, Florida ACLU staff attorney, said in a statement.
The case was filed against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Attorney General Ashley Moody, Florida State Attorney Nicholas B. Cox, and the Attorneys General of all 20 Florida judicial districts.
The groups argue that Section 10 is just one of many new laws under SB 1718 that are “harmful to Florida immigrants and their families.”
In addition to Florida restricting which out-of-state licenses are valid in the state, the law also requires new hires to pass a work status check if a hired company has 25 or more employees. It also increases penalties for those who knowingly hire or transport undocumented immigrants in the state.
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A separate plaintiff said they are suing because it harms their family and many others when they “do nothing to hurt anyone.”
“I am suing because this law harms our family and many others. We do nothing to harm anyone. On the contrary, we work here, pay taxes and try to provide a safe life for our families. Now we are afraid even to travel with the whole family. I would never want my son to face a felony for traveling with his mother and sister. It doesn’t make any sense. We are a family – how can this be? the plaintiff said in a statement.
On Monday, the governor’s office released a statement regarding the lawsuit, calling it “outrageous and disgusting.”
The ACLU drifted more and more to the left over the years and fell out of the American mainstream. Long gone are the days when the ACLU championed true civil liberties such as free speech and religious rights. But siding with the smugglers—something truly outrageous and disgusting—was not part of our plans for bingo.
However, in Florida we will continue to fight illegal immigration and human smuggling.
We look forward to defending Florida and its humane laws against attacks from the ACLU and its left-wing minions.
Jeremy T. Redfern, Governor’s Office Press Secretary
The lawsuit was filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida in Miami. The complaint can be found here.