Many of the workers that help Florida residents rebuild are undocumented.
EVA MARIE UZCATEGUI /Getty Images
Florida Gov. DeSantis’ immigration crackdown is convincing some undocumented workers to stay out of Florida.
But many of those workers typically get hired by residents to rebuild and clean up after storms.
Workers told the New York Times that the risk of deportation is just too high to help clean up after Hurricane Idalia.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ crackdown on illegal immigration is scaring away undocumented migrants who normally flock to the state to help with hurricane cleanup.
DeSantis’s law, signed in May, made it much more difficult for migrant workers to live and work in Florida.
The law makes it a felony for groups to bring undocumented immigrants to Florida and enables law enforcement officials to randomly audit businesses that may be hiring such workers, according to the Tallahassee Democrat. The law also makes out-of-state licenses no longer applicable for illegal migrants — which critics and advocates have argue will lead to police profiling.
That law is now affecting hurricane recovery efforts across the state, the New York Times reported. Some migrants who typically travel to Florida to get hired helping residents rebuild their homes and clean up after storms now fear deportation if they enter the state, the outlet reported.
One undocumented worker who lives in Texas told The New York Times that, because of DeSantis’ immigration crackdown, he “absolutely will not go” to Florida to help with recovery efforts after Hurricane Idalia.
“Imagine being arrested and deported doing work that really helps people,” he told the Times. “We have families.”
Resilience Force — a nonprofit group that advocates for and organizes disaster response workers — held a series of meetings at worker hubs in Texas and Florida this summer, a representative for the group told Insider.
The meeting organizers learned that more than half of about 1,000 workers at these informal sessions — many of whom are undocumented — do not want to return to Florida because of DeSantis’ new law, the representative said.
Representatives for DeSantis did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.