June 28, 2023

Nearly 400,000 undocumented immigrants work in six key statewide industries, study says.

Mitch Perry writes:

"Florida’s sweeping anti-immigration bill is set to go into effect this Saturday, and critics of the law warned Wednesday that it will impact far more than the undocumented immigrant population.

'Floridians will see higher costs for our groceries due to worker shortages, longer waits at restaurants, struggles to keep employees, less housing options as construction workforces flee Florida and it will be harder to find people to care for our children and our aging population,' said Miami-Dade Democratic state Rep. Dotie Joseph, who speculated about what the future may look like on July 1.

In a telephone conference call, Joseph said that 'SB 1718 inhumanely and intentionally terrorizes immigrants and exacerbates our state’s existing post-COVID labor shortages in vital industries, including tourism, agriculture, construction, hospitality and restaurants.'

The controversial bill imposes penalties on Florida businesses who opt not to use the E-Verify system to check the legal status of their workforce, and makes it a felony for anyone to “knowingly” transport an undocumented worker into the state. Hospitals that accept Medicaid now are mandated to compile financial data on the cost of treating undocumented patients, while out-of-state driver’s licenses legally possessed by the undocumented will no longer be accepted in Florida.


According to the Florida Policy Institute, there are more than 390,000 undocumented workers who work in six key industries in the state who made over $12 billion in wages in 2019 (the last year with the most robust recent data, the group says). Those are: (1) Construction; (2) Professional, Scientific, Management, Administrative, and Waste Management Services; (3) Accommodation and Food Services, Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation; (4) Retail Trade; (5) Other Services; and (6) Agriculture."

Read more at floridaphoenix.com

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