Uncertain and afraid: Florida’s immigrants grapple with a disrupted reality under new law
MIAMI (AP) — For many in Florida’s vast immigrant community, daily life in recent months has become one governed entirely by fear.
Some try to drive as little as possible and make fewer trips to the supermarket. Others no longer take their children to the park and worry about allowing them to attend school. Others still are hiding out — avoiding travel to other states, not getting regular medical check-ups, or closing their businesses and leaving town. And many are just on high alert — all because of a new immigration law Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed in May.
One of the strictest in the nation, the law criminalized transporting immigrants lacking permanent legal status into the state, invalidated any U.S. government identification they might have and blocked local governments from providing them with ID cards. Florida hospitals that receive Medicaid are now mandated to ask patients about immigration status and businesses employing 25 or more people must verify their workers’ legal status.