Florida’s anti-immigrant law, SB1718, took effect on July 1, sending thousands of Florida residents — fathers, mothers, sons and daughters, farmworkers, construction workers, senior citizens and kindergartners — into a state of uncertainty and despair.
Despite the fear and disinformation swirling around immigrant communities over the past several weeks, countless Florida immigrants and their allies turned their anguish into action and took to the streets in vibrant protests across the state last week to call for justice and respect for people whose contributions to the state’s economy, culture, and history are too great to be measured. From Homestead to Tallahassee, grassroots organizations and community groups came together with a single message: Immigrants make Florida stronger, and deserve to be treated with respect.
In Fort Myers, over 1,000 protestors marched through the city’s historic downtown, demanding an end to SB1718. Flying a colorful mix of banners demanding justice for farmworkers and other immigrant workers, the national flags of Central and Latin American countries, as well as countless American flags, and carrying homemade signs in English and Spanish calling out the harsh new law, the marchers garnered national attention.