News   /   Mexico

Mexico blasts Florida’s new anti-immigration law

Migrants wait to be taken by Border Patrol to a processing facility to begin their asylum-seeking process in Eagle Pass, Texas on June 25, 2023. (Photo by AFP)

Mexico has strongly criticized a new controversial immigration law in Florida introduced by Republican Governor and US presidential candidate Ron DeSantis.

However, the Mexican government vowed to assist in the protection of undocumented Mexicans in the southeastern US state.

The anti-immigrant law, which took effect on Saturday, is seen as a preview of the kind of hardline policies DeSantis would seek on immigration enforcement, according to Reuters

According to DeSantis’s website, the new legislation includes allocating funds to move migrants without lawful status out of the state and restricting access to ID cards.

It also requires employers with 25 or more employees to use E-verify, a federal system used to confirm whether employees are permitted to work in the US, to hire new workers.

Under the new legislation, business owners would be fined $1,000 per day for each undocumented person hired when not permitted and the state could suspend an employer’s business license if they are caught.

The law also extends beyond the workplace, enhancing human trafficking and smuggling penalties to second-degree felonies.

Anyone, including a US citizen, would be punished by a $10,000 fine and up to 15 years in prison if transported five or more undocumented immigrants across Florida’s border.

DeSantis claims the legislation is needed due to what he considers the Biden administration's failure to secure the border.

Mexico raises concerns over hostile environment

Responding to the new law, Mexico's Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Saturday, expressing concerns that these provisions could lead to discrimination, racial profiling and the creation of a hostile environment.

"Criminalization is not the way to resolve the phenomenon of undocumented migration," the ministry said, describing the new measures as driven by xenophobia and white nationalism.

While acknowledging the US legislative processes, Mexico emphasized its commitment to joint efforts between the United States and Mexico to treat migrants with respect.

The Mexican ministry stated that the Florida law runs counter to these collaborative endeavors.

The ministry also pledged to protect undocumented Mexicans in the state, with its consulates working to inform migrants about their rights and partnering with civil society groups to identify potential cases of abuse.

Every month, about 200,000 people attempt to cross the Mexican-American border mostly from Central and South America, requesting asylum.

The Biden administration has faced blistering criticism from immigrant advocates and progressive Democratic leaders who have urged the president to do more to uphold his government's responsibility towards refugees and asylum seekers.


Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku