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Florida's "Terrifying" Anti-Immigration Crackdown Sets Stage for Gov. Ron DeSantis's Presidential Run

Written by on 23/05/2023

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A sweeping anti-immigrant crackdown is underway in Florida by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, who is expected to enter the race for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination this week. SB 1718 is set to take effect July 1, but has already led to walkouts by immigrant workers. It bans people who are undocumented from using driver’s licenses issued in other states, and prohibits state ID cards to be issued to them. It also requires hospitals that accept Medicaid to ask about citizenship during intake, and expands requirements for employers to use the federal E-Verify system to check the immigration status of their workers. “SB 1718 has been the harshest immigration bill that we have seen,” says Florida immigration attorney Andrea Reyes. We also speak with historian Geraldo Cadava, who says DeSantis’s policies may not “translate nationally,” given Florida’s unique demographics and gerrymandered political system. Reyes is featured in a new piece for The New Yorker by Cadava, “Florida’s Right Turn on Immigration.”

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