Overview of Florida’s New Law Affecting Immigrants

On July 1, 2023, Florida’s new wide-ranging law, SB 1718 went into effect. A foreign national living in Florida should be aware of the impact of SB 1718, as summarized in this MurthyDotCom NewsBrief.

Government Funding for Community IDs

SB 1718 prohibits cities and counties in Florida from funding community identification cards for an individual unable to prove lawful presence in the United States. However, the law does not invalidate previously issued community IDs, prevent the issuance of a non-government funded community ID, or criminalize the possession of a community ID.

Limitations on Certain Out-of-State Drivers’ Licenses

The law invalidates any out-of-state driver’s license that did not require the driver to first verify lawful immigration status and makes driving in Florida based on such a license a criminal offense. It is, however, still legal to possess such a license in Florida.

Requirements for Local Hospitals

SB 1718 requires a hospital that receives Medicaid to ask about the immigration status of all patients. The law, however, does not allow a hospital to report an individual’s immigration information to authorities, refuse to provide care based on an individual’s immigrant status, engage in immigration enforcement at the hospital, or condition healthcare on an individual’s immigrant status.

Mandated Use of E-Verify for Certain Employers

All employers in Florida are required to verify a new employee’s work authorization. An employer located in Florida with 25 or more employees is required to enroll in E-Verify, as explained in the MurthyDotCom NewsBrief, Florida Requires Employers to Use E-Verify for Employment Eligibility (14.Jun.2023). The bill penalizes an employer who fails to verify an employee’s work authorization and can result in criminal charges against an employee without work authorization who uses false documentation to obtain employment. State law enforcement will have the authority to conduct employment verification audits as of July 1, 2024.

Limits on Florida State Bar Admission for DACA Recipients

Starting on November 1, 2028, a recipient of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will be ineligible for admission to the State Bar of Florida to practice law. However, a DACA recipient admitted prior to November 1, 2028, will not lose bar membership and will be able to continue practicing law after this date.

Updated Immigration Enforcement Policies

SB 1718 criminalizes the knowing transport of an individual who entered the United States unlawfully into the state of Florida. Additionally, the new law includes updated immigration enforcement policies related to state cooperation with the federal immigration enforcement and DNA collection from an individual in state criminal custody.


Florida’s new immigration law could significantly impact undocumented immigrants in the state of Florida, along with individuals unable to prove their lawful status in the United States. Therefore, as with all U.S. immigration law, it is important for a foreign national to be familiar with SB 1718 in order to remain compliant with all of the relevant immigration rules and regulations.


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Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.