Watch: Florida Businesses, Illegal Aliens Protest DeSantis Migration Law

Members of the Aguilar family, whose older members immigrated from Guatemala, carry Americ
AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell

Several thousand illegal migrants protested in Florida’s streets against Gov. Ron DeSantis’s state law that may shrink illegal immigration to the state.

The strikers’ hope for a massive, economy-jarring, state-wide “walkout” failed because the hard-working, wage-cutting illegal aliens are not critical to any section of the U.S. economy, except the fruit-growing sector.

Perhaps 10,000 illegal aliens — including many family members — turned out for the June 1 “Day Without Immigrants” protest. Most of the turnout took place in the Immokalee agriculture district where farmers prefer cheap and disposable workers over U.S-built, labor-saving harvesting machines.

Many of the illegal migrants waived their home-country flags:

Some businesses supported the protest, partly because they use the cheap migrant labor to undercut other businesses that employ Americans:

“Who’s to blame? Only the governor, because he stirred a hornet’s nest he shouldn’t have gotten involved with,” William De La Cruz, the owner of Eagle Nursery in Homestead, FL, told NBC News and the Spanish-language Telemundo TV network.

Business groups say that the departure of illegal workers would cut the state’s $1.4 trillion gross domestic product (GDP) by roughly one percent.

But any decline in the number of illegal workers is a gain for American employees because it pressures CEOs to compete for workers. That competition drives up pay, an investor-funded study admitted in 2020.

But President Joe Biden and his pro-migration deputies have deliberately imported at least four million illegal aliens since early 2021.

DeSantis’s law is already sending some illegal workers out of state.

Telemundo reported comments from Jesús Rojas, who closed his two Peruvian restaurants in Orlando on Thursday: “We’re feeling the impact because there are families who have been moving to different states, fleeing from this nefarious and arbitrary law that really destroys a lot of families.”

Some protests took place in other states, NBC News reported:

In downtown Los Angeles, near the historic Placita Olvera, a group of protesters gathered to denounce SB-1718 and “demand dignity, respect, and a path to citizenship for ALL!,” the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, or CHIRLA, tweeted. “We are not one, we are not 100, we are millions, count us right,” a video depicting a crowd chanting in unison and in Spanish showed.

But the main event was in Florida, where DeSantis’s E-Verify law pressures employers to not hire illegal aliens, either directly or via subcontractors.

“Nobody has a right to immigrate to this country,” DeSantis said on May 10 as he signed his sweeping state-level law curbing illegal migration in Florida jobs and housing. He continued:

We determine as Americans what type of immigration system benefits our country, but when you’re doing immigration, it’s not for their benefit as foreigners, it’s for your benefit as Americans.

So if there’s legal immigration that’s harming Americans, we shouldn’t do that either. For example, some of these H-1B visas, they would fire American tech workers and hire foreigners at lower wages. I don’t agree with that. I think that’s wrong.

DeSantis’s law seems to be working — as some illegal workers say they will exit the state. The WTVJ TV station reported comments from one unidentified illegal at a nursery: “We basically have to flee, flee like if we were criminals and we’re not criminals. On the contrary, we’re here to work and we work for a lot of companies.”

“No one who lives here [in Florida], none of the citizens, will want to work eight hours for $80 or $90,” the illegal migrant said, correctly.

If the underpaid, low-wage, exploited illegal workers depart, some low-productivity businesses will close or hire Americans at higher wages. Either option will help raise productivity and wages and will reduce the taxpayer-funded welfare payments that stealthily subsidize low-wage employers.


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