Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, spearheaded legislation designed to discourage illegal aliens from moving to the Sunshine State. Mexican government officials object to passage of the state’s SB 1718 into law.
“Criminalization is not the way to solve the issue of undocumented immigration,” stated a press release from Mexico’s government that reminded DeSantis of the contribution to Florida’s economy, society and culture.
SB 1718 forbids Florida counties or cities from giving money or official ID documents to anyone unable to provide proof of their lawful presence in the country.
The new law also renders out-of-state licenses issued to illegal aliens invalid in Florida. It requires certain hospitals to determine immigration status for admission or registration forms.
Employers who knowingly hire or retain illegal aliens without verifying their employment eligibility through E-Verify may be penalized by the state, under the new law.
This public objection is the latest episode in an ongoing dispute between Mexico and Florida’s governor. Mexico has previously investigated possible legal responses to Florida’s migrant relocation policies.
The Mexican government warned of potential negative consequences for U.S.-Mexico diplomatic relations while promising to allocate additional resources and provide legal support for Mexican citizens residing in Florida.
“The Government of Mexico will not stand by and watch as measures that stigmatize and criminalize our fellow citizens are implemented,” the Ministry said in a statement.
DeSantis, a potential Republican presidential nominee, has implemented more than 200 new laws. These laws focus on the issue of illegal immigration, enforcing penalties for employers who hire undocumented immigrants and mandating hospitals to inquire about patients’ citizenship status.
The Florida governor’s position on immigration falls in line with policies established by former President Donald Trump. DeSantis has also committed to finalizing the Mexican border wall.
The Mexican government pledged to safeguard undocumented Mexicans in the state, according to a Reuters report.
“Xenophobia and white nationalism can only sow discord, pain, and confrontation,” the Ministry said. “We cannot remain silent when faced with something so unjust as criminalizing migration.”