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Florida's new immigration law goes into effect in less than a month

The new immigration law will require hospitals receiving Medicaid money to ask patients for their immigration status.
Florida's new immigration law goes into effect in less than a month
Posted at 12:36 PM, Jun 07, 2023

There's fear among undocumented families in Florida. In less than a month, a new immigration law will go into effect.

"I am very scared because I don't know if I could be detained," said Mirella Estrada, an undocumented farmworker in South Florida.

The new immigration law will require hospitals receiving Medicaid money to ask patients for their immigration status.

"It's causing fear and it's deterring people from seeking health care," said Renata Bozzetto, deputy director for the Florida Immigrant Coalition.

According to migrant advocates, misinformation is causing panic for the undocumented.

"Our services team is already receiving reports of hospitals and doctors' offices refusing care because they are also afraid for being liable because they don't understand the full extent of the law," said Bozzetto.

"They think they can't go to the hospitals, to the doctor because they think if they go into the doctor they ask ... about the documentation," said Claudia Gonzalez, an organizer for the Farmworker Association of Florida.

But answering about immigration status is optional and won't stop medical care.

SEE MORE: Migrants, advocates say new Florida law will greatly hurt labor market

"We work picking tomatoes," said Estrada.

 She has harvested crops for over 18 years.

The undocumented Mexican mother says she's considering leaving Florida.

"At the end, everyone will be affected. Undocumented immigrants, U.S. citizens and residents," said Estrada.

Another concern is the law will stop people from reporting crimes.

"Our main focus is that people are not left behind," said Miami Dade Police Department director, Freddy Ramirez.

SCRIPPS NEWS NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, AXEL TURCIOS: Is the department concerned that this law is going to prevent people with no documents from coming forward to report crimes?

FREDDY RAMIREZ: Absolutely. I understand how that population is in fear. No matter who you are, documented, undocumented, that if you're a victim of a crime or you're being victimized do not be afraid to call the police.

The law will also end local government funding for community ID programs, with some exceptions, like the privately funded membership card issued by the Farmworker Association of Florida.

"Community IDs are the documents that immigrants use, for example, to open a bank account," said Bozzetto.

The law will also invalidate driver's licenses issued to undocumented immigrants in other states.

The law goes into effect July 1.


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