Moms Organize Against DeSantis-Backed Anti-Immigrant Bill, Warning that It Would Create a Hostile Environment for Florida’s Immigrant Families and Harm Businesses and the State’s Public Health
JACKSONVILLE, FL – Moms across Florida are speaking out in opposition to HB 1617/SB 1718, anti-immigrant legislation that Gov. Ron DeSantis backs and the state legislature is considering this week. MomsRising, the million member on-the-ground and online grassroots organization, has mobilized its thousands of Florida volunteers to contact their state legislators to oppose the bill. The organization is working with the Florida Policy Institute, FLIC , and the We Are Florida Coalition to defeat the legislation.
“Florida moms recognize that immigrants make our communities stronger, support our state’s economy, and provide the child care, elder care, and disability care families and businesses rely on,” said Nina Perez, National Director for Early Learning for MomsRising and a Jacksonville resident. “We are horrified by the witch hunt this bill would unleash in our state. We should be focusing on ensuring all families in Florida can thrive instead of attacking what makes our communities strong and vibrant.”
“Immigrants are a critical part of our communities, Florida’s economy and our care infrastructure. In fact more than a third of health care support workers, including elder home care workers, in Florida are immigrants. This law would be destructive not only for immigrants but also for our care infrastructure, which is critical to women’s labor force participation and our economy.” Perez continued. “This bill is part of a campaign of hate that Gov. DeSantis and his supporters in the legislature are waging. Florida moms want our leaders to unite us, not foment cruelty and create division.”
HB 1617/SB 1718 would penalize employers and people who are in the process of obtaining lawful immigration status or who have lived in Florida for decades and have children who are U.S. citizens.
The legislation would force hospitals that accept Medicare to collect data on the immigration status of patients and to regularly submit reports on the cost of care provided to patients without a regulated immigration status. It would likely cause pregnant people worried about their immigration status to skip prenatal appointments.
It would undermine faith-based organizations that provide shelter and support to unaccompanied migrant children seeking to reunite with their families in Florida and it would cause grave harm to businesses and to the state’s public health.