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Nation's Oldest and Largest Latino Civil Rights Organization Eyes Federal Lawsuit and Mobilizing Communities to Counter Florida Governor Ron DeSantis

May 17, 2023
For more information, contact David Cruz at (818) 689-9991

Washington, DC - The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) strongly denounces the anti-immigrant measures signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis in Florida. LULAC exposes the extensive impact of Governor DeSantis' sweeping anti-immigrant, anti-Christian family rampage, harming the Florida economy and further marginalizing immigrant communities. Bill 1718 goes into effect July 1, 2023.

LULAC President Garcia warns Latinos traveling in Florida with family members to be cautious if they encounter law enforcement. "We do not doubt that if Abuelita or Tia is with us and we are profiled, DeSantis' enforcement regulations will treat us like criminals, transporting a dangerous person who only wanted to visit family or enjoy Disneyworld," says Garcia.

Photo Credit: Lydia Guzman CPLC

Under the new enforcement orders, Florida's construction, restaurant, and agriculture industries are set to be economically devastated. These businesses heavily rely on immigrant workers, and the enforcement measures will disrupt their workforce, leading to significant economic losses. Furthermore, healthcare facilities in Florida will now be obligated to track and turn away any patient who cannot provide proof of legal status in the United States. This policy places an unjust ethical burden on providers administering necessary medical care and perpetuates discrimination based on immigration status.

Garcia calls Bill 1718 immoral and cruel and lacks total Christian compassion for the needy, sick, and injured, the least among us. "Matthew 25:31 reads, 'For I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger, and you invited me in.' These are words that most Americans believe in. But it looks like devilish DeSantis wants to kick out the immigrant stranger, imprison those who provide shelter and food, or even give a ride to an immigrant!" he adds.

Photo Credit: Lydia Guzman CPLC

"The actions taken by Governor DeSantis have created a shadow of fear within communities across the state," says Lydia Medrano, LULAC vice-president for the Southeast. "Food banks report witnessing individuals seeking one last food donation as they prepare to flee Florida. Families are torn apart as some members choose to stay while others have to leave, foreseeing worsening conditions for immigrants. As a Harvard-educated lawyer, it is crucial to note that Governor DeSantis possesses a chameleon-like ability to shape-shift, as demonstrated during President Biden's visit to Florida when the state required federal disaster relief funds," adds Medrano.

Some observers doubt Governor DeSantis can overcome the backlash from a cross-section of groups likely to suffer the effects of his unprecedented attack on immigrants. LULAC Florida State Director, David Sinclair, underscores the importance of vigilance. "While we may witness sparks, that doesn't necessarily mean we will have a fire. Even if we see a bonfire, that doesn't mean the flames will last."

Governor DeSantis is allocating an additional $12 million to a "migrant relocation" program to send people away from Florida, following an anywhere-but-here approach. LULAC reminds Governor DeSantis to consider Arizona's negative consequences when SB1070 was enacted, leading to a significant decline in Latino visitors and a $141 million dollar loss to the state's economy in just the first four months after passage.

Photo credit: Lydia Guzman CPLC




The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation's largest and oldest Hispanic civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC's programs, services, and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting the critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit https://lulac.org/