Largest Hispanic Organization in the US Issues Travel Warning: Florida Is ‘Dangerous, Hostile’

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

By Giselle Balido

May 22, 2023

The warning from the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) comes in response to a sweeping anti-illegal immigration measure that Gov. Ron DeSantis has just signed into law. 

For only the second time in its 94-year history, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) has issued a travel advisory for anybody traveling to Florida.

The warning from the nation’s largest Hispanic organization comes in response to Senate Bill 1718, a sweeping anti-illegal immigration measure Gov. Ron DeSantis recently signed into law. 

“We believe that Florida has committed several very cruel, immoral and unjust uses of immigrants as political piñatas for the purposes of basically just getting votes,” said Domingo Garcia, LULAC’s national president during a press conference.Florida is a dangerous, hostile environment for law-abiding Americans and immigrants.”

The law requires employers with more than 25 employees to check their immigration status using a federal database. Those who don’t comply face fines of $1,000 per day until they provide proof that their workers are legal citizens.

RELATED: Most Floridians Disapprove of State’s Direction, DeSantis’ Approval Rating Drops by 19 Points in New Poll

The law also invalidates out-of-state identification cards issued to illegal immigrants, including driver’s licenses, and prevents Florida-based agencies from issuing new cards. Additionally, people who transport undocumented people living in the United States could face fines and possible imprisonment.

Migrant advocates believe that because of fear, farm and hospitality workers may go elsewhere and create an economic gap in Florida, as the core economic engines of South Florida, agriculture, construction, hospital, and tourism are staffed by immigrant workers.

“It’s immigrant workers who allow South Florida’s economy to be made possible,” says Oscar Londoño, Co-Executive Director of We Count!

LULAC plans to file a lawsuit in federal court when the law takes effect in July. 

“Your Life Is Not Valued”

In the wake of LULAC’s advisory, another national organization has also issued a formal travel advisory for Florida. The NAACP on Saturday said that under Gov. DeSantis’s leadership the state has become “hostile to Black Americans.” 

NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson cited a new DeSantis-backed law allowing gun owners to carry a concealed weapon without a permit, as well as education policies that according to the group “erase Black history and to restrict diversity, equity, and inclusion programs in Florida schools.” 

“Beware that your life is not valued,” Johnson told CNN

RELATED: Floridians Are Paying the High Legal Cost of DeSantis’ Culture Wars

Florida Sen. Shevrin Jones was quick to respond to the NAACP’s advisory with a scathing commentary on what critics say are the governor’s racist policies. 

“In DeSantis’ Florida, Black Americans are absolutely less safe, so it is no wonder that the NAACP has issued this travel advisory, noting the state’s open hostility,” Jones said in a statement. He added that when major employers pull development out of the state in response to DeSantis’ embrace of right-wing authoritarianism, it hurts all Floridians.

“His dangerous agenda not only hurts people in our communities, but also harms our state’s economy, tourism, and local small businesses.”


  • Giselle Balido

    Giselle is Floricua's political correspondent. She writes about the economy, environmental and social justice, and all things Latino. A published author, Giselle was born in Havana and grew up in New Jersey and Miami. She is passionate about equality, books, and cats.



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