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On July 17, 2023, legal organizations, including the Southern Poverty Law Center, American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Florida, Americans for Immigrant Justice and American Immigration Council, filed a federal lawsuit challenging Florida’s new anti-immigrant law, FL Senate Bill 1718.

The lawsuit focuses on the provisions outlined in Section 10 of the law, which criminalizes the transportation of individuals into Florida who may have entered the country unlawfully and have not been “inspected” by the federal government since. The complaint states that it is unconstitutional for a state to unilaterally regulate federal immigration and subject people to criminal punishment without fair notice and that Florida’s use of the term  “inspection” is incoherent and unconstitutionally vague.

The case was filed against Gov. Ron DeSantis, Attorney General Ashley Moody, Florida Statewide Prosecutor Nicholas B. Cox and the attorneys general for all 20 Florida Judicial Circuits, on behalf of the Farmworker Association of Florida and various impacted individuals, including U.S. citizens and undocumented drivers and passengers who routinely travel into and out of Florida.

Section 10 is only one of a host of new laws within FL Senate Bill 1718. that harm Florida immigrants and their families and seeks to target and intimidate immigrant families in every facet of their lives. The law inhibits and intimidates immigrant Floridians seeking health care, expands E-Verify requirements and penalties on businesses, prohibits local government funding of new community identification cards, and invalidates certain driver’s licenses from states like Connecticut, Vermont, Delaware and Hawaii.  

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida in Miami.

For more information on the lawsuit, contact:

Maria Frausto at the American Immigration Council, [email protected] or 202-507-7526; Anna Núñez, Southern Poverty Law Center, [email protected], 334-201-9236; ACLU of Florida Media Office[email protected], 786-363-2737; Inga Sarda-Sorensen, ACLU National, [email protected], 347-514-3984; Devra Gelman, Americans for Immigrant Justice, [email protected], 305-409-3639. 

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