MIAMI (NewsNation) — Truck drivers have called for boycotts against Florida’s new penalties and restrictions on undocumented immigrants in the state that require employers to verify if workers are authorized to work in the U.S.
Across social media platforms, Latino truck drivers are now threatening to stop delivering to and from Florida and are calling on migrants to stand down from work for up to a week.
Drivers posted videos on TikTok with messages like “don’t enter Florida,” and encouraging others to follow their lead, which has led to a thread of truck drivers saying they were not driving through the state.
Drivers have said they plan to boycott Florida by not driving in the state beginning as early as next month. The hashtags #noFlorida and #boycottFlorida are spreading.
Senate Bill 1718 aims to limit the flow of illegal immigration. Under the new law, businesses with more than 25 employees are required to use E-verify, the federal system that allows enrolled employers to determine if their employees are legally authorized to work in the U.S.
The new immigration law also requires employers to fire an employee if they discover that employee to be a “foreign national” who is not authorized to work in the country. The law also invalidates out-of-state identification cards issued to “unauthorized immigrants.”
“It shows solidarity, it cuts off the supply chain to Florida, A. B, it’s also a statement of solidarity with their fellow countrymen, who don’t see that status as an issue when they’re here,” said Allen Orr, the former president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
Immigrant advocates said Florida’s approach is targeting a community already struggling to survive. According to the Migration Policy Institute, 21% of people living in Florida weren’t born in the U.S.
“Generally speaking, an employer is not going to let the drivers dictate the company business and they wouldn’t be terminated,” said Joe Rajkovacz, the director of governmental affairs for the Western State Trucking Association.
The law doesn’t apply to independent contractors.
Meanwhile, advocates are pointing to the ripple effect this could cause. They’ve posted videos on social media of empty grocery store shelves, implying that the threat from Latin American truck drivers will further impact the state’s economy.
Florida’s new law, which was signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis on May 10, will take effect on July 1.
The new law comes at the end of Title 42, which was lifted on May 11. Title 42 was enacted under the Trump administration and allowed border authorities to immediately turn away migrants encountered at the U.S.-Mexico border.