(AP) — Several civil rights groups filed a federal lawsuit on Monday challenging Florida’s new immigration law.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Florida, Americans for Immigrant Justice and the American Immigration Council filed the lawsuit in Miami federal court against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Attorney General Ashley Moody and Statewide Prosecutor Nicholas B. Cox on behalf of the Farmworker Association of Florida and others, according to court records.
The legislation that DeSantis, a Republican, signed into law in May bolsters his migrant relocation program and limits social services for immigrants lacking permanent legal status.
It also expands requirements for businesses with more than 25 staffers to use E-Verify, a federal system that determines if employees can legally work in the US.
Another provision requires hospitals that accept Medicaid to include a citizenship question on intake forms.
The lawsuit specifically focuses on provisions that criminalises the transportation of individuals into Florida who may have entered the country unlawfully and have not been “inspected” by the federal government since.
The complaint states it is unconstitutional for a state to unilaterally regulate federal immigration and subject people to criminal punishment without fair notice.
It also asserts Florida’s use of the term “inspection” is incoherent and unconstitutionally vague.
DeSantis launched a campaign for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination in May, playing up his tough stance against illegal immigration