TALLAHASSEE, FL – FWD.us Florida State Immigration Director Ted Hutchinson issued the following statement today on Governor Ron DeSantis’ newly proposed immigration priorities:
“At a time when Floridians are facing high inflation and a housing crisis, and businesses are trying to fill serious labor gaps, we should prioritize building up our workforce, communities, and economy, not tearing them down. That’s why it is deeply troubling to see the Governor’s proposed priorities for the 2023 state legislative session.
“For example, expanding in-state tuition rates to undocumented young people was sponsored by Republican Lieutenant Governor Nunez, passed with widespread bipartisan support, and was signed into law by Republican then-Governor Rick Scott. Since its enactment, this legislation has increased education and workforce opportunities for more Floridians, and it’s made every community in our state stronger. As now-Senator Scott himself said today, ‘I believe that these individuals ought to have the opportunity to live in this country. It’s a bill that I would sign again today.’
“Additionally, policies that make it more difficult to support our immigrant community only negatively impact all of us. For instance, failing to honor out-of-state driver’s licenses only makes it more difficult for individuals to work. And the state of Florida making it punishable with time behind bars for clergy at a church to assist people with accessing basic needs like food or housing won’t make our border more secure, but it would absolutely make our state less welcoming and less prosperous.”
“One in five Floridians is an immigrant – if we limit opportunities and basic fairness for immigrants in our state, it harms us all. We urge the Governor to enact commonsense policies that strengthen Florida and our economy, not pursue harmful policies that only hurt our immigrant neighbors and weaken our state.”