Media Contact

ACLU of Florida Media Office,, (786) 363-2717

March 9, 2022

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, the Florida House passed Senate Bill 1808 (SB 1808), which threatens to ban private businesses and organizations from providing transportation to a large swath of Florida’s foreign born population and visitors, including asylum seekers and children, preventing them from reuniting with their families in Florida.

SB 1808 also prohibits local governments from protecting Floridians’ private information about their immigration status from being transmitted by anyone within law enforcement to any state agency, state university, or state college.

The bill forces every law enforcement agency that operates a county detention facility to enter into a 287(g) agreement with ICE, regardless of the high costs associated with such a contract or whether the law enforcement agency desires it. A 287(g) agreement forces local law enforcement officers to carry out federal ICE duties, further entangling local government in matters under federal control and often leading to illegal racial profiling and civil rights abuses.

Kara Gross, ACLU of Florida’s legislative director and senior policy counsel, responded to today’s vote with the following:

“SB 1808 harms immigrant children and families, obstructs children and asylum seekers’ right to reunite with their families, and will increase racial profiling of individuals traveling to Florida. Governor DeSantis and leaders in our legislature continue to use discriminatory rhetoric and harmful action toward immigrant communities to win political points. This time they are doing it at the expense of vulnerable children, asylum seekers, DACA recipients, individuals awaiting their green card, lawfully admitted visitors who are in the process of renewing or extending their visas, international students or faculty at Florida’s colleges and universities, and U.S. citizens who a common carrier mistakenly assumes may not be lawfully present in the United States.

“Whether someone is authorized to be present in the United States is a complicated and fact-intensive inquiry— one that even the most experienced immigration attorneys could disagree upon based on the individual’s specific circumstances. It is not something that transportation companies have the training or expertise to be able to determine. Nor is it appropriate for the government to force private businesses to make such complex legal determinations in the day to day operations of their businesses.

“SB 1808 requires ‘common carriers’ to fill out an attestation under penalty of perjury as to the immigration status of everyone using their services. If, in order to comply with the bill, transportation companies that contract with any Florida government entity require proof of immigration status from every child and family that travel to Florida on any mode of transportation, this law would result in increased unlawful interrogations, racial profiling, and discrimination.

“This requirement would place an unreasonable burden on transportation companies to make immigration status determinations and negatively impact Florida’s tourism and economy.

“Immigrants enrich our state, our community, our economy, and our lives. This is why faith leaders, human rights and civil rights organizations, and even law enforcement have opposed this bill. Every legislator who supported this bill should be ashamed that they are preventing vulnerable children and asylum seekers from reuniting with their families.”