Judge Blocks DeSantis’ Immigration Transportation Bill

(RepublicanPress.org) – In May 2023, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) signed Senate Bill 1718 into law. The bill put restrictions into place to combat illegal immigration in the Sunshine State by imposing penalties for employing or transporting undocumented immigrants in Florida and other measures targeting that demographic. The Farmworkers Association of Florida sued, and a federal judge recently ruled on the suit.

On May 22, US District Judge Roy Altman issued a preliminary injunction against SB 1718, blocking the part of the state law that prohibits people from transporting or traveling with undocumented migrants. Altman said the law made Florida citizens “afraid to travel in and out of Florida” with their friends or family members who happen to be undocumented. He said they worry about arrest, prosecution, and deportation. The justice also stated that the plaintiff would suffer “irreparable harm” if that part of the law stayed in place.

Altman also referenced previous court rulings that stated immigration is an issue for the federal government, not the state. He wrote that the Florida law “extends beyond the state’s authority.”

The decision is the latest in a federal crackdown on states that seem to be overstepping their bounds regarding immigration. The Biden administration currently has several suits ongoing regarding the issue.

The federal government is responsible for immigration matters and feels at least Texas, Iowa, and Oklahoma have enacted laws violating its authority. The states allege that laws in their areas were necessary to combat the influx of migrants, but the courts will decide the future of those laws.

The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Florida, and several other civil rights organizations applauded Altman’s decision. The American Civil Liberty Union’s Immigrants’ Rights Project Attorney Spencer Amdur said the justice made the correct decision, adding that the law was “callous and patently unconstitutional.”

The Florida judge subsequently ordered all parties to submit briefs regarding the scope of the injunction. Those are due to Altman by June 6.

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