Across the United States, opponents of a newly signed immigration law in Florida chose June 1 as the day to collectively send a message to the state’s governor, Ron DeSantis, and his fellow conservatives: Florida’s economy is doomed without migrants.
Activist groups nationwide held “Day Without Immigrants” protests Thursday, essentially a labor stoppage by migrant workers and their allies in the business community who oppose the draconian law signed by DeSantis. There were also demonstrations against anti-immigrant laws in other states.
The Florida legislation, known as Senate Bill 1718, has been denounced by civil rights activists and religious groups that provide aid to migrants — and it has even garnered international condemnation.
If you caught the May 16 episode of “The ReidOut,” you know Joy highlighted the potential (read: likely) self-injury this law could cause for Florida’s economy. If you missed the segment, read Joy’s take in this blog post:
Joy highlighted the reports of undocumented construction workers walking off their jobs after DeSantis signed the bill, leaving local developers in a bind. She also noted the videos of Latino truckers that went viral on social media, in which the drivers call for fellow truckers to boycott Florida over SB1718.
Thursday’s demonstrations ought to remind Florida Republicans how real — and devastating — such a boycott could be.
Local news outlets reported that several businesses across Florida would be closing their doors June 1. Here’s a report from an ABC affiliate in South Florida. There’s also this report from the Fox affiliate in Tampa Bay, listing dozens of businesses that would be closed in support of the work stoppage.
Keep in mind that all of this backlash has coincided with the launch of DeSantis’ presidential campaign and as he’s pitching himself as a worthy leader of the Republican Party.
Meanwhile, activists are showing the country why DeSantis’ form of bigoted governance is so harmful. Black, Latino and LGBTQ advocacy groups have all issued advisories warning against travel to Florida. People are walking off their jobs and closing their businesses’ doors in protest.
Not exactly what presidential candidates usually want to be associated with.
And rest assured, the demonstrations against DeSantis are only getting started.