Florida businesses to close due to migrant protesting e-verify bill

Writer: Matias Abril
Published: Updated:

A business is left without workers, and it’s because of the country’s strongest legislation against undocumented migrants.

Governor DeSantis signed the bill, making employers use e-verify if a company has over 25 workers. Now there’s a protest opposing the law. And it’s causing businesses in Southwest Florida to close on Thursday. They’re standing up for themselves by shutting down.

A sign in front of the store reads, “Maxx Foods will be closed on June first in solidarity with the Latina community.”

And they’re not the only ones.

“I love working with the immigrant people, people that need help,” said Ralph Castillo, who is against the bill. “They come to work and come to grow.”

And they want to keep it that way, but he said that Florida’s new immigration law only makes it harder.

“Our governor, I think he choose the wrong path with the immigrants,” Castillo said.

Castillo was born and raised in southwest Florida, but he cannot say the same for some of the people he works with. And right now, the arm of the law is terrifying them.

“I think you should change the law in those people who are already here, working hard, killing themselves, trying to make a living for that,” Castillo said.

That’s why he and his coworkers are standing up by taking a walk.

Members and supporters of the Latino community in Southwest Florida will take part in a “walkout” Thursday in protest of Florida’s new immigration bill, which takes effect July 1. Castillo agrees that those who cause trouble should not be able to work.

“Those that come and they want to come here and start trouble should not be here working,” Castillo said.

But he thinks that requiring e-verify for every employer and mandating hospitals that accept Medicaid to ask all patients whether they’re U.S. citizens or not lawfully allowed to be here is too much.

“I support the new law because it puts our Floridians first,” said Yvette Benarroch.

She said that the Florida immigration law might not be enough.

“It keeps our families safe,” Benarroch said. “It protects all Floridians. I believe in legal immigration.”

In addition to Maxx Foods being closed on June 1st, Mucky Duck will voluntarily close in protest of the bill.

Iguana Mia’s location in Bonita Springs will be involuntarily closed Thursday because they don’t have enough employees to be open. Iguana Mia’s owner and founder says that he fully supports his workers in standing up for what they believe in.

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