Bill 1718 – Florida law turns against immigrants

Immigrants marched in downtown West Palm Beach, Florida on June 1st, 2023. Source:

By Esteisy Gonzalez, Editor

  Having to leave home and enter a new territory where you are unwanted is rather difficult. Getting adjusted is hard. At times immigrants cry because they miss home, but they know leaving was for the best. They only want the best for their loved ones, to the point they’d risk anything for them.  

  Crossing the border isn’t easy. People cry because, although it was difficult, making it to the border while having suffered a lot during the journey might’ve been worth it.  

    Moving can cause depression, anxiety and adjustment issues. Immigrants experience this and they also experience guilt. Parents who must leave their children feel guilt afterward and they worry day and night for their well-being. This can affect their sleep schedule and eating habits, but then in the morning, whether they slept or not, they must go to work because after all that is what they came here for. This happens to many immigrants all in separate ways, because they cannot bring all their family because not only is it pricey, but it is so hard to survive in the U.S.  



     Immigrants are often left with the hardest jobs. If you come to Florida, you will see that most of the construction and roofing workers are immigrants. These immigrants help repair houses damaged by hurricane.s Even if they came here to work and it is their job, this still benefits the U.S. These immigrants are working every day, often 7 days a week.  

   Yet, they do not get the respect they deserve, and even when nothing wrong is done, they still get treated as delinquents. Just because they did not come to the U.S the legal way does not mean they should be treated as a bunch of worthless human beings. They barely have any rights in America, yet Bill 1718 will destroy what so little they have. 



Florida Bill 1718 

   Florida Bill 1718 is a law that was passed on May 10,2023, that aims directly at undocumented immigrants. It is expected to activate on July 1st of 2023. 

     This bill will prevent undocumented immigrants from working at large companies. According to the article “Florida Poised to Require Employers to Use E-Verify with New Hires: Your 5 Key Takeaways” published on the website for, a law firm, every employer with 25 or more employees will be required to use the E-Verify system.  

    Due to Bill 1718, out of state driver licenses and permits specifically for unauthorized immigrants will no longer be recognized in Florida. And these immigrants will also be prevented from obtaining a Florida’s License in the upcoming future.  Driving with an out of state license in Florida as an immigrant, will get you arrested if detained by a police officer for a reasonable reason. If there is nothing addressed towards your arrest like a deportation order or an arrest warrant, you cannot be deported. The police can only hold you for a max of 60 days (about 2 months) and provide a $500 fine for not having one (this is applied to everyone driving without a license). 

   Transporting an immigrant who is currently living in the country across state lines into Florida will now be illegal in the state of Florida. Any hospital that accepts Medicaid will now be required to obtain the patient’s immigration status and report it to the state. 

     This bill enforces strong penalties against Floridians for providing help to immigrants. Knowingly transporting illegal people will now be considered a third-degree felony, which includes 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine per offense.  

    According to the article “Florida Bill Would Ramp Up Penalties Against Public Employers Hiring Undocumented Workers” published on the website for the law firm, the bill will increase the penalty for knowingly hiring an immigrant from $500 to $1,000. Subsequent violations would constitute a second-degree misdemeanor and carry a fine of $2,500 per unauthorized worker. Violating this law can also revoke the employer’s state license and potentially be required to re-pay any economic incentives received. 


More Jobs? 

     Since this new Bill has been announced, panic has struck, and many immigrants are scared. According to the article “Will Florida’s immigration law spark a South Florida migrant worker exodus?”, published on the website for, many immigrants have fled, leaving many empty worksites and farm fields.  

   Migrants are known for their hard work and dedication, but if they are gone, these projects will take longer. Farming fields are also left empty, and the produce is rotting, since there is hardly anyone to pick the crops. This is a problem since about 60% of immigrants are all farm workers. 

    According to the article “”Hateful laws make travel to Florida dangerous, advocacy groups warn” published by CBS News, some people are cancelling their summer vacations to Florida. Let’s face it: some people do not want to invest money in a state that is discriminating immigrants or any individual in general. This will affect Florida a lot; after all Florida’s largest income comes from travel and tourism. 

    For now, Florida is being talked about a lot over the media, and people fear what will happen July 1st of 2023 when this new bill will go into effect.  



Source:, More photos of the march – taken by Rebecca Blackwell