SB 1718 Resources
SB 1718 has created new challenges for immigrants in Florida. Americans for Immigrant Justice is committed to helping you know the law, know your rights, and protect our immigrant community.
*Updated August 8, 2023
An Overview: What the law does and does not do
SB 1718 bars local government from providing funding to issue community IDs to persons who do not prove lawful presence in the U.S.
SB 1718 does not invalidate persons’ community IDs issued by local government.
SB 1718 does not prevent issuance of community IDs if the government does not fund them.
SB 1718 does not make it a crime to possess a community ID.
SB 1718 invalidates out-of-state driver licenses that are issued without being required to show proof of lawful presence in the U.S. (i.e. driver licenses that are issued to individuals who are undocumented or who cannot prove lawful presence).
SB 1718 makes it a crime to drive in Florida with this type of license.
SB 1718 does not have any effect on an individual’s Florida driver license.
SB 1718 does not make it unlawful to possess an out-of-state driver license that is no longer valid in Florida.
SB 1718 requires hospitals and emergency departments that receive Medicaid to ask patients their immigration status.
SB 1718 does not allow doctors, clinics, hospitals or any medical care providers to report undocumented patients or individualized patient information to immigration authorities.
SB 1718 does not allow medical care providers to deny care based on a patients’ immigration status.
SB 1718 does not permit or encourage immigration enforcement at hospitals or emergency departments.
SB 1718 does not require patients to answer questions about their immigration status to receive care (at hospitals that receive Medicaid, you will be asked this question, but you do not have to answer it).
Employment & E-Verify
SB 1718 penalizes employers for failing to verify employment authorization and criminalize noncitizens who use false identification documents to obtain work.
SB 1718 requires all employers to verify new employees’ work authorization, and require private employers who employ 25 or more employees to use E-Verify to confirm new employees’ work authorization.
SB 1718 does not require employers to re-check the employment authorization of persons they already employ using E-Verify.
SB 1718 does not authorize state law enforcement to conduct employment verification audits until July 1, 2024.
DACA holders’ eligibility to be admitted to practice law in Florida
Beginning on November 1, 2028, SB 1718 prevents DACA holders from being admitted by the Supreme Court of Florida to practice law in Florida.
SB 1718 does not have any effect on DACA holders who are already members of the state bar in Florida.
SB 1718 does not have any effect on DACA holders who will become members of the state bar in Florida prior to November 1, 2028.
“Human Smuggling”: Transporting Certain Folks Without Immigration Status Into Florida
SB 1718 makes it a felony to transport into the state of Florida a person who you know or reasonably should know (1) entered the U.S. unlawfully; and (2) has not been inspected by the federal government.
SB 1718 does not make it illegal to transport anyone—regardless of their immigration status—within the state of Florida.
SB 1718 does not make it illegal to provide housing to or share housing with a person who lacks lawful immigration status.
SB 1718 does not make it illegal to do day-to-day things like take your kids to school, go to church, carpool, etc. no matter what your immigration status is (as long as you aren’t crossing state lines into Florida, it is fine to do these activities).
State cooperation with federal immigration enforcement
SB 1718 expands Florida’s on-going interagency counter-terrorism enforcement coordination and preparation efforts to include assisting federal immigration enforcement officials.
SB 1718 does not give the police any new authority to detain or arrest individuals.
SB 1718 authorizes the collection of DNA from individuals, including juveniles, who have been issued a detainer by immigration authorities in state criminal custody.
SB 1718 does not allow law enforcement to collect DNA based upon immigration status from individuals who are not in criminal custody.
“Unauthorized Alien Transport Program”
SB 1718 appropriates $12 Million for the “Unauthorized Alien Transport Program.”
SB 1718 does not change the “Unauthorized Alien Transport Program”, which was created by a separate state law on February 15, 2023, SB 6-B.
Know the Law, Know Your Rights, Protect Our Community
Lawsuit Against Section 10
We have filed a lawsuit in partnership with the Southern Poverty Law Center, ACLU of Florida, American Civil Liberties Union, and the American Immigration Council on behalf of the Farmworker Association of Florida (FWAF) and nine individual plaintiffs. This lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of Section 10 of SB 1718.
We’re moving swiftly to block this illegal law’s harmful effects. With this lawsuit, we’re standing with Florida’s immigrants to make our State a safe and welcoming home for all.
What is in Section 10?
Section 10 of the SB 1718 law makes it a crime to transport certain immigrants into our state. It states that “a person who knowingly and willfully transports into this state an individual whom the person knows, or reasonably should know, has entered the United States in violation of law and has not been inspected by the federal government since his or her unlawful entry from another country commits a felony of the third degree.”
If the person being transported is a minor, it is a second- degree felony. It is also a second- degree felony if the person transports five (5) or more people in a single episode. And a second- degree felony for subsequent violations.
Motion for Preliminary Injunction
On August 8, 2023, we filed a motion for preliminary injunctive relief to block Section 10. Our communities should not have to live with the harmful consequences of Section 10 until the law is ultimately struck down. Blocking Section 10 through preliminary injunctive relief would be the first step in preventing continued harm to our communities.
We will provide updates if and when Section 10 is blocked through preliminary injunctive relief. Until then, please remember that Section 10 and SB 1718 remain the law in Florida. If you have questions about SB 1718 and your rights, please contact an immigration attorney or call our office at 305-573-1106 ext 1400.
Protect Our Immigrant Community
You can count on us to fight back against laws that make our community unsafe and afraid. We won’t let fear and misinformation win.
The need right now is massive. Since SB 1718 was signed into law, we have received hundreds of phone calls from clients who are afraid like never before, with endless questions about their safety. We provide each and every client with free and compassionate counseling and resources.
You can fight back against this law and protect Florida’s immigrants. Support our direct services for immigrants and evolving litigation & advocacy efforts against SB 1718 by donating to AI Justice today.