By Gisela Salomon
“Florida is home to about 4.6 million people that are foreign-born, and nearly three-quarters are from Latin America and the Caribbean. At least 825,000 lack permanent legal status, according to the most recent Pew Research Center survey from 2017. And about half of those people contribute to Florida’s workforce and economy in key industries including agriculture, construction, hospitality and more, according to the American Business Immigration Coalition.
‘(The law) is impacting their ability to just go about their day like they used to,’ said Shalyn Fluharty, an immigration attorney and executive director of the nonprofit law firm Americans for Immigrant Justice.
Experts like Fluharty characterize the law as vague and confusing, asserting that it raises concerns of mandatory detention, arrests and felony convictions for individuals who have no way of knowing they could be a target, including U.S. citizens who may be transporting immigrants without permanent legal status into the state.
‘Whether or not you should be afraid really kind of depends on your unique, individualized, factual circumstances,’ Fluharty said. Her advice: If you are afraid, consult with a lawyer.”