Is there a risk of racial profiling with Florida’s SB 1718, the toughest immigration law in the United States?

Is there a risk of racial profiling with Florida’s SB 1718, the toughest immigration law in the United States?

Recent passage of SB 1718 in Florida has generated concern and controversy regarding the risk of racial profiling and the potential consequences for immigrant workers.

This legislation, considered the toughest immigration legislation in the entire country, has led hundreds, perhaps thousands of workers, to flee to other states for fear of being persecuted, arrested, separated from their families and deported from the United States.

Flight of immigrant workers

According to Jessica Ramirez, an organizer with the Farmworker Association of Florida, between 8% and 10% of the worker community has left Florida in search of safer places since the passage of SB 1718 by the Legislature in April.

This exodus is due to the fear of being detained and placed in deportation proceedings. This situation has generated great insecurity and “great risk” in the immigrant community.

Danger of racial profiling

Implementation of SB 1718 could open the door to racial profiling by law enforcement officers, which is of concern to Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) Senior Attorney Anne Janet Hernandez Anderson.

According to Hernandez Anderson, there is a high risk that law enforcement officers, such as police officers, sheriffs and the highway patrol, will use racial profiling as a criterion to stop people. This could lead to situations of discrimination and civil rights violations.

Risks to immigrant workers

SB 1718 poses significant risks to immigrant workers and mixed marriages, consisting of citizens married to undocumented immigrants. If these individuals must travel from another state to Florida after July 1, they should be aware of the potential consequences and prepare adequately.

It is important that they speak with an attorney before traveling to understand how this law affects them and what they should do if they are detained.

Key tips before and after SB 1718 goes into effect

For those affected by SB 1718, it is crucial to follow these key tips:

Talk to an attorney

Before making any travel, especially to Florida, it is advisable to speak with an immigration attorney who can provide personalized legal advice. The attorney will be able to explain the consequences of being detained and how to proceed if this happens.

Clarify your immigration status

It is important to have a clear understanding of your immigration status and know your rights. Learning about the laws and regulations related to immigration in Florida can help you make informed decisions and anticipate possible risky situations.

Learn about the new SB 1718 Law

It is essential to understand the details of SB 1718 and how it may affect immigrants and citizens married to undocumented immigrants. Knowing the changes and legal implications of this legislation will allow you to be prepared and take appropriate steps to protect yourself.

Find out if and how you can be affected

Each situation is unique, so it is important to assess how SB 1718 may affect each particular individual or family. By speaking with an attorney, you can determine whether there is a real risk of racial profiling or being detained and deported, and what actions can be taken to minimize those risks.

Prepare a Plan B, even if you are a U.S. citizen or legal resident.

Even if you are a U.S. citizen or legal resident, it is important to have an alternative plan in case you are detained or face hardship due to SB 1718. This may include having the contacts of lawyers, family members, or trusted friends who can provide legal assistance and support in emergency situations.

Do not disclose your nationality

If you are detained by law enforcement, it is important to remember that you are not required to disclose your nationality. Keeping this information confidential can help protect you and avoid situations of persecution or discrimination based on racial profiling.

You have the right to remain silent

Both citizens and undocumented immigrants have the right to remain silent if they are detained by authorities. They are not required to reveal their immigration status or give information that could be used against them.

Do not present false or someone else’s documents

It is important to remember that presenting false or someone else’s documents is illegal and can have serious consequences. Instead of resorting to illegal practices, it is advisable to seek legal advice and explore the options available to regularize your immigration status.

Keep all necessary phone numbers handy and know exactly who to call if you are detained.

If you are detained, it is essential to have the contact numbers of lawyers, family or friends who can help in case of an emergency. In addition, it is important to communicate with the designated person beforehand so that you know what to do and how to help if necessary.

It is wise to have a ‘Plan B’ in case you are detained in Florida

Anticipating possible risky situations is critical. Having a “Plan B” in case you are detained in Florida can help protect your rights and ensure that appropriate steps are taken to deal with the circumstances.

Have a family contact ready to contact your attorney who will handle your legal matters.

If you find yourself in a detention situation, it is advisable to call a trusted family member to contact an attorney to handle legal matters. Having the support of a specialized attorney is essential to protect your rights and seek appropriate legal remedies.


Passage of SB 1718 in Florida has raised concerns about the risk of racial profiling and the potential consequences for immigrant workers. It is critical that those affected by this legislation seek legal advice and take steps to protect their rights and well-being. Being informed, having a plan of action, and having the support of legal professionals are essential steps in addressing the challenges this law presents.