Anti-Immigrant Fundamentalism in Florida

This past Monday, [July 3rd]*, a new anti-immigration law took effect in Florida.

This past Monday, [July 3rd]*, a new anti-immigration law took effect in Florida. It is a step backward for human rights and a new attack by the Republicans on the Hispanic community in the U.S.

In past months, when Republican legislators proposed that U.S. armed forces enter Mexico to combat the cartels and launch missiles at Mexico, I described them as a handful of far-right fundamentalists. The new Florida law substantiates my earlier descriptions; they are frightened of Islamic fundamentalism, but do not see their own fundamentalism.

Florida Senate Bill 1718 is one more example of Republicans using immigrants as cannon fodder to curry favor with the most conservative, racist and xenophobic sectors of the U.S electorate. They continue to use immigrants in an inhumane and deplorable fashion as pawns in their election campaigning, with total disregard for their rights and dignity.

In pursuit of his presidential aspirations, fundamentalist Gov. Ron DeSantis has been trying to sell citizens the idea that there is an invasion of the U.S. by immigrants that is placing national security and sovereignty at risk. With this law, he is trying to demonstrate that he has the toughness to deal with this, not only by stiffening measures against immigrants, but also by relaxing the rules on carrying guns. And for him, like the good extreme right-wing fanatic that he is, the migrants are more dangerous than the guns, even though the true crisis in the U.S. is the unrestricted sale and use of guns, which every day cause thousands of shooting deaths in the streets, malls, movie theaters and schools.

People like DeSantis are the ones who are really responsible for the thousands of U.S. deaths from gun violence, including of children and young people in schools and universities. The targets of his rhetoric of hatred and xenophobia specifically include thousands of young people who were born on U.S. soil of Mexican immigrant parents who, he says, do not have a right to citizenship.

But even as he continues to press his extreme right-wing ideological fundamentalism and his election strategy directed at the most conservative citizens, DeSantis is ignoring the fact that his law will be a blow to the state’s economy. It will negatively impact its principal industries, including tourism, agriculture and construction, in which most of the workers are immigrants. Several organizations in the country have already been pointing out that there is a shortage of workers in these sectors.

I declare my solidarity with our immigrant brothers in the U.S. and with the grassroots organizations that are raising their voices and envisioning actions to be taken to combat this atrocious law, characteristic of the Middle Ages, but not of a country which commonly bills itself as “the world’s best democracy.”

If history has taught us anything, it is that the racists, the xenophobes like DeSantis are not remembered as heroes or great men, but rather as villains and tyrants – mere henchmen, who end up in the trash can of history and in disgrace.

*Translator’s Note: SB 1718 actually took effect on July 1st, the Saturday prior to the publication of the Spanish article, but the Spanish text has “Este lunes,” i.e., “this past Monday.”

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