Changes To Immigration Laws In Florida
As the world’s borders become non-existent with increased connectivity, new Florida legislation effective July 1, 2023 brings a wave of changes in the State’s approach to immigration. The laws affect immigrants within the state as well as employers and businesses.
The new Florida immigration law include the following key changes:
- The law makes it “human smuggling” and a felony for a person to knowingly and willfully transport into Florida an individual, including a minor, whom the person knows, or reasonably should know, has entered the United States in violation of law and who has not been inspected by federal immigration authorities since entry. Pursuant to this provision, a lawful permanent resident parent who transports into Florida her child who has not been inspected would be chargeable with a second-degree felony (up to 15 years in prison). The law does NOT criminalize: living with, sheltering, or renting space to family, friends, or other individuals who are undocumented; concealing, harboring, or shielding from detection undocumented individuals; or transporting undocumented individuals within the state.
- Permits and identification documents regarding motor vehicles issued by other states identifying the holder as “undocumented” are now invalid within Florida. Visitors from outside the country are not affected by this law if they hold a valid permit or license from their home country. (F.S. 322.033; 322.04)
- Hospitals that accept Medicaid are now required to collect data regarding all patients’ immigration status. The law states that the status will not affect patient treatment or result in the reporting to immigration authorities. (F.S. 395.3027). Patients may decline to answer any questions regarding immigration status.
- Effective Nov. 1, 2028, repeals statutory provision allowing DACA recipients and certain other undocumented individuals to be admitted to the Florida Bar but does not affect the validity of any license to practice law issued pursuant to that subsection before November 1, 2028.