Xenophobic Law Hurts Florida's Economy

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

About a year ago, Florida enacted a draconian anti-immigration measure that, as I put it, "conscript[s] many otherwise productive Floridians for border patrol duty."

Predictably, this is now damaging its economy:

About a year ago, Florida Governor and then presidential candidate Ron DeSantis passed one of the toughest crackdowns on immigration in the country.

SB1718 punishes employers who use undocumented labor and forbids undocumented people from having a driver's license.

Many local Florida businesses say the new law has led to workers leaving the state, hurting their bottom line. "A lot of people are scared," says [fruit farmer Fidel] Sanchez. "A lot of people went north and never came back."
The article notes that this artificially-induced labor shortage is not just increasing produce prices: It's poised to damage the state's economy to the tune of $12.6 billion in added costs.

The NPR piece correctly advocates immigration reform, but I have noted before that this should also include citizenship reform, and, in the long run, abolition of the welfare state. As I said of that last, years ago:
Were the educational and medical sectors privately run, we would not attract or encourage freeloaders, and non-citizens who used these facilities would be paying customers. Who could complain about that?
Conservatives like Ron DeSantis and Donald Trump are eroding America's proud and prosperous history as a destination for hard-working and enterprising people from around the world.

Instead, they could be making it easier for people to get here and stay here, and for those of us already here to keep our own money, while also benefiting from the chance to trade with the world's best workers and customers.

-- CAV

P.S. On the subject of immigration reform, I highly recommend the talk embedded below.


May 1, 2024
: Correction: Changed an to and in sentence about abolishing the welfare state.

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