Hispanic Democrats rail against DeSantis immigration crackdown

Leaders of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) are condemning immigration proposals in Florida that would implement a series of hardline measures against undocumented immigrants.

CHC Chair Rep. Nanette Barragán (D-Calif.) and Vice Chair Rep. Darren Soto (D-Fla.) on Tuesday said the proposals are part of the “Florida Republicans’ anti-immigrant agenda,” and pinned the policies on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).

“The recent policies implemented by the Republican-led Florida Legislature demonstrate Governor DeSantis’ preference for fearmongering, promoting racial profiling, and damaging Florida’s economy, rather than supporting the state’s Hispanic population in their time of need,” wrote Barragán and Soto in a joint statement.

The bill proposed in Florida has the hallmarks of several statewide immigration laws adopted by GOP-led state legislatures throughout the country over the past three decades.

Among other things, the Florida bill would ban funding for granting identification documents to undocumented immigrants, and it would also make invalid in Florida drivers licenses issued to undocumented immigrants in other states.

The legislature’s bill follows proposals made by DeSantis in February to crack down on undocumented immigrants.

Bryan Griffin, a spokesman for DeSantis, said those proposals intend to “counteract the effect of the increasing threats to Florida posed by illegal immigration as a result of the Biden administration’s failure to secure our nation’s borders.”

“We appreciate the legislature joining this conversation as began by the governor … and look forward to legislation on the matter reaching the governor’s office in final form for consideration,” Griffin told The Hill in an email.

The proposals have been lambasted as draconian by a slew of institutions, including faith-based groups incensed by a provision that would ban transporting undocumented immigrants, potentially criminalizing some pastoral services.

“Faith leaders, civil rights groups, chambers of commerce, and others have come out against these draconian measures because they will slow economic growth, reduce our workforce, hurt small businesses, drive up inflation, and deeply damage our international tourism,” said Barragán and Soto.

Tags Congressional Hispanic Caucus Darren Soto Nanette Barragán Nanette Diaz Barragán Ron DeSantis Ron DeSantis

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