Florida Laws On Illegal Aliens Face Court Challenge

On Monday, a group of civil rights organizations filed a suit in Miami federal court challenging Florida’s new immigration law, the Associated Press reported.

The ACLU, ACLU of Florida, Americans for Immigrant Justice, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the American Immigration Counsel filed a lawsuit against Governor Ron DeSantis, State Attorney General Ashley Moody, and State Prosecutor Nicholas Cox on behalf of the Farmworker Association of Florida and other complainants.

The immigration measure, signed into law by Governor DeSantis in May, limits social services for illegal aliens and increases funding for the state’s relocation program. The law requires businesses with more than 25 employees to use the E-Verify system to determine if workers are legally permitted to work in the United States. It also requires hospitals accepting Medicaid to ask about citizenship status on intake forms.

The lawsuit primarily focuses on the provisions in Section 10 of the law which criminalize the transportation of illegal aliens into Florida who have not been “inspected by the federal government” since entry.

The complaint alleges that it is unconstitutional for Florida to unilaterally regulate federal immigration while subjecting illegal aliens to criminal punishment without proper notice. It also claims that the state’s use of the term “inspected” is “hopelessly vague and incoherent,” according to the Orlando Sentinel

The lawsuit alleges that the vague phrasing in Section 10 of the law could “sweep in” those “who are lawfully present” in the US or are currently “seeking lawful immigration status.”

The complainants argue that the new law could stop family and friends from visiting each other and hinder parents from seeking medical treatment for their children.

The lawsuit claims that the law “usurps” the federal government’s exclusive, “constitutionally vested” powers which do not “permit parallel or supplemental state immigration laws.”