Posted on May 25, 2023

Florida’s New Immigration Law Prompts Some to Leave the State

Yacob Reyes, Axios, May 24, 2023

An undocumented 22-year-old woman sat on her bed in Tampa last week and called her mother, listening to the ringing tone, hoping for another option. When her mother answered, the sound of her soft voice reminded the woman there weren’t any.

  • “We have to leave Florida,” the woman said.

What’s happening: A new law that Gov. Ron DeSantis signed this month to tighten restrictions on Florida’s undocumented community is driving immigrants out of the state.

  • The legislation voids out-of-state driver’s licenses for those without proof of citizenship, bars municipalities from using state money to issue identification cards for undocumented immigrants and requires most companies in Florida to verify the immigration status of new hires, among other restrictions.
  • It also repeals a state law that allowed some undocumented immigrants to obtain a license to practice law in Florida.


The big picture: Florida is home to an estimated 772,000 undocumented immigrants, according to the Migration Policy Institute. More than 81,000 of them live in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Polk counties.


State of play: Some undocumented workers in South Florida are not coming to work or they are leaving job sites because of the law — which will come into effect July 1, CBS Miami reports.

  • The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the country’s oldest and largest Latino civil rights group, issued a travel advisory last week over the new measures, warning potential tourists that Florida is a “dangerous, hostile environment.”