Background: Right now, the Florida legislature is considering anti-immigrant legislation, SB 1808 and HB 1355, harmful and immoral bills that would attack unaccompanied immigrant children, preventing Florida faith communities and community-based providers from fulfilling their mission to welcome and care for children. This legislation further prevents children from being reunited with their families. This legislation would also prohibit all state and local government agency contracts with transportation companies that “willfully” transport an “unauthorized alien” into Florida, which would make it impossible for buses and airlines to transport broad categories of non-citizens, especially unaccompanied children and various visa holders. This is an affront to religious freedom and our moral and compassionate call to serve the vulnerable.
This legislation would also be designed to force local law enforcement to act as de facto immigration agents. This will not make our communities safer — it serves only to induce fear and mistrust between immigrant communities and local authorities. It would also force the state to spend additional costs to enter into federal immigration agreements. Every immigrant family has the right to dignity and peace, and this legislation would strip away the trust and hope immigrant families have in the state of Florida.
Urge Florida Elected Leaders to Reject SB 1808 and HB 1355!
Make four phone calls (or send four emails) today using the sample script below to contact your state Senator and Representative, as well as two key targets who have the power to reject this legislation.
- Call Senator Wilton Simpson (Senate President) at (850) 487-5010.
- Call Representative Chris Sprowls (Speaker of the House) at (850) 717-5065.
- Call or email your state Senator and Representative on the right-hand side to be connected to them directly.
Here’s what you can say: “I’m [insert your name] from [insert city/county], and [as a person of faith], I urge you to reject SB 1808 and HB 1355, harmful and immoral bills prevent Floridians from caring for children in need, an affront to our moral and compassionate mission to welcome and care for children. This legislation would create a common carrier provision that prohibits all state and local government agency contracts with transportation companies that “willfully” transport an “unauthorized alien” into Florida. That means this legislation would make it impossible for buses and airlines to transport broad categories of non-citizens, especially unaccompanied children and various visa holders.
This legislation would also force local law enforcement at its own cost to act as de facto immigration agents. Allowing local authorities to act as immigration enforcement officers will only harm my community. This legislation sends an unwelcoming message of exclusion to Florida’s newest families — and does not reflect my values of protecting families and preserving peace and trust within Florida. I expect you to stand with our communities and reject efforts that sends us on a wrong path toward discrimination against our neighbors. I urge you to reject SB 1808 and HB 1355. Thank you.”
Here are some additional ways to take action:
- Sign the Petition: Click here to sign We Are Florida’s petition opposing this legislation.
- Submit a Comment: Click here to submit a comment by Thursday, March 3rd to Governor DeSantis opposing his executive order that would similarly harm unaccompanied children using this template. Make sure to click on the blue box that says “Make a Comment” and copy-paste & adapt the template text.
- Amplify on Social Media: Click here for a We Are Florida digital toolkit with sample social media posts and additional resources to amplify your message.
- CWS statement opposing SB 1808 / HB 1355
- Letter from 200 faith leaders to Governor DeSantis
- Florida Council of Churches letter
- Organizational letter from 73 child welfare and service providers
- Op-ed published by nationally respected immigration attorneys John Pratt and Mark Prada
Thank you for taking action, and please share this alert with your neighbors!