Florida’s Immigration Law Temporarily Halted by Lawsuit

By LG Staff

By LG Staff

May 28, 2024

A federal judge, Roy Altman, temporarily blocked enforcement of a section of Florida’s stringent immigration law, SB 1718, following a lawsuit filed by the Farmworker Association of Florida and other civil rights groups. The law, signed by Governor Ron DeSantis a year ago, criminalizes the transportation of undocumented individuals into the state.

U.S. District Judge Altman’s decision garnered praise from civil rights groups, with the ACLU of Florida emphasizing the victory for Floridians against harmful anti-immigrant policies. The law, which went into effect in July 2023, imposes penalties aimed at deterring the employment of undocumented workers and makes transporting undocumented immigrants into Florida a felony.

The lawsuit, filed last summer, highlighted the broad scope of the law, putting both citizens and noncitizens at risk of felony charges for simple acts like driving a family member to a doctor’s appointment. The law’s enforcement led to the displacement of undocumented workers in key industries and instilled fear in immigrant communities, even affecting their ability to seek shelter during Hurricane Idalia.

Attorney General Ashley Moody, a defendant in the lawsuit, argued against the plaintiffs’ legal standing, but Judge Altman questioned the law’s validity, stating it exceeded the state’s authority in enforcing federal immigration law.

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