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ABIC Statement on FL Gov. DeSantis Efforts to Turn Local Law Enforcement Into Federal Immigration Agents

By January 24, 2022No Comments

ABIC: “This latest anti-business, anti-immigrant effort, similar to previous proposals shot down by the courts, would severely damage the state’s top industries, tourism and agriculture.”

Tallahassee, FL — In response to the Senate Judiciary Committee consideration of SB1808, filed by Senator Aaron Bean (R-Fernandina Beach), that is one of Governor Ron DeSantis’ legislative priorities this session, the following is a statement from Paul DiMare, President and CEO of DiMare Fresh, “2016 Florida Farmer of the Year” and co-chair of the American Business Immigration Coalition /IMPAC Fund :

“The agricultural industry that I lead will be devastated. Florida accounts for 56% of citrus production and ranks second in vegetable production. This is the worst labor situation that I’ve ever seen. And policies like SB1808 will further drive away agriculture’s labor force and leave Florida farmers without options. This bill erodes trust between police and immigrants and thereby threatens the safety of all Floridians. When immigrants are afraid to report or be witnesses of crime, we all lose.”

“Anti-business, anti-immigrant legislation like SB1808 is a threat to Florida’s reputation, our public safety, our ability to welcome tourists and recruit new workers. Stop this nonsense. Our economy has suffered during the pandemic, and we don’t need politicians creating crises that will stunt our economic recovery. End this now.”

This is an anti-business, anti-immigrant measure that would require local police and government institutions to carry out enforcement duties assigned to federal immigration agents. SB1808 would redefine “sanctuary policy,” and require local officers to perform functions of federal agents. An earlier anti- “sanctuary” law was struck down by a federal district court and is on appeal to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

The current proposal also would ban all state and local government contracts with transportation companies that “willfully” transport undocumented immigrants into the state.