120+ of Florida's business leaders are uniting in opposition to SB 168, HB 527, and other anti-immigrant legislation

An Open Letter to Florida's Elected Leaders

 

Dear Governor DeSantis, Senate President Galvano, and Speaker Oliva:

 

Florida’s business leaders rely on the optimism and entrepreneurship of our hardworking immigrants. Immigrants are vital to the Florida economy and help create and sustain job growth. Immigrants represent over 25 percent of our workforce and employ over 500,000 fellow Floridians. It is their innovative spirit that keeps us moving forward. Anti-immigrant legislation will inflict long-lasting damage to the state of Florida, which is why we oppose SB168.

 

With unemployment at near-record lows, Florida's economy cannot afford this harmful legislation. According to a new NAE study, 85.8 percent of undocumented immigrants in Florida are of working age (ages 16-64), and pay $1.7 billion each year in taxes. SB 168 could result in a 10 percent immigrant exodus from Florida to deliver an annual loss of $121.4M in taxes and $3.5B in GDP, threatening the economic prosperity and safety of all Floridians.

 

Horrendous human trafficking violations plaguing Florida are national news. SB168 plays right into the traffickers' hands. They use the fear of deportation to manipulate their victims. They ensure their victims are afraid to talk to the police, or even go to the hospital. This bill, no matter how nuanced the final product may be, gives traffickers another tool to terrorize and enslave their victims.

 

As Florida Farmer of the Year, Paul DiMaire or "Mr. Tomato" stated, “The agricultural industry I work in will be devastated. Florida accounts for 56 percent of U.S. citrus production and ranks second in value of vegetable production. Policies like SB 168 will drive away agriculture’s labor force and leave Florida farmers without options.”

 

This bill erodes trust between police and immigrants and thereby threatens the safety of ALL Floridians. When immigrants are afraid to report and be witnesses of crime, we all lose. We’re asking you, as our elected leaders in Tallahassee, to stop this wrong-minded legislation and focus on solutions to real problems in our state.

 

To criminalize and target our immigrant community is not only mean-spirited but displays a complete and utter disregard for the facts. Immigrants - documented and undocumented - are less likely to commit a crime than native-born citizens. A new report from the libertarian think-tank CATO Institute finds that “undocumented immigrants are 49 percent less likely to be incarcerated than native-born Americans.”

 

Anti-immigrant legislation like SB168 is a threat to Florida’s reputation, our public safety, our ability to welcome tourists and recruit new workers, and ultimately, our economy. We encourage you to bring all stakeholders to the table to find common ground and address our state’s challenges in a way that encourages pro-business, pro-immigrant, and pro-public safety policies.

 

Signed,

 

Mike Fernandez, MBF Healthcare Partners Chairman

John Rowe, Exelon Chairman Emeritus

Jose Alvarez, MBF Healthcare Partners CFO, Portfolio Companies

Sheldon Anderson, Sheldon T. Anderson Consulting Consultant

Tony Argiz, Morrison, Brown, Argiz & Farra Chairman and CEO

Felix Bartolomei, Fairwinds

Joseph Berardo, MBF Healthcare Partners Operating Partner

Al Cardenas, Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP Senior Partner

Mario Cartaya, Cartaya and Associates Architects, P.A. CEO

Rudy Cecchi, Rudy Cecchi & Associates President

Carlos de Cespedes, Carl Jhones Managing Director

Manny Diaz, Lydecker Diaz Partner (Former Mayor of Miami)

Bob Dickinson, Carnival Cruise Lines Former CEO

Paola Dominguez, Flagler Bank

Joel Flores, Nucleus Marketing Agency

Pedro Freyre, Akerman Chair, International Practice

Rene Garcia, Rene Garcia and Associates State Senator, 38th District

Ricardo Garcia, HAVOC Media Group

Enrique Gonzalez, Fragomen Worldwide Partner

Juan Claudio Gonzalez, Best Rest USA

Felice Gorordo, eMerge Americas CEO

Gwen Graham, Former Representative, Florida's 2nd Congressional District

Shannon Hardwick, Signature Real Estate

John Hart, Former Broward County Commissioner

Fr. Fernando Heria, St. Brendan Catholic Church Supervising Principal

Agustin Herran, General Real Estate

Jane Herron, Mrs. Richard Herron, Community Volunteer

Steve Hough, Florida Fair and Open Primaries, Inc.Director

Linda Julien, City of North Miami Compliance Manager

Olen Kalkus, Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart Head Master

Mitchell Kaplan, Books and Books Owner

William Kunkler, CC Industries, Inc. Executive Vice President

Lindsey Lambaz, Evolve

Richard Lamondin, EcoSystems CEO and Co-Founder

Thomas Liberti, Clear Health Alliance (An Anthem Company) Senior Consultant

Abraham Lopez, Abraham Lopez Consulting

Vicki Lopez, VLL Consulting Owner

Douglas McIntosh, McIntosh Sawran & Cartaya, P.A.

Daniel Crowe Mikesell, Cielo Ventures Founder

Carson Mitchell, Tallahassee Area Association of Environmental Professionals Board Member

Alberto Morales, One Seed President

Laz Mur, Lazaro Mur Esq.

Jose Nodarse, MBF Healthcare Partners Vice President of Finance

Oscar Nodarse, Hola TV General Manager

Dr. Talal Nofal, Tender Touch Health Care Services Chief Clinical Officer

Wilfredo Ortiz, NY Life

Wissam Otaky, H2 Advisors

Osvaldo Pagan, Latin Brands Corp

Rosie Paulsen, Rosie Paulsen Enterprises

Alex Penelas, Alex Penelas, P.A. Attorney (Former Mayor of Miami-Dade County)

Sergio Pino, Century Homebuilders Group, LLC

Jacob Rhodes, Kobi's Place Owner

Alex Rizo, Den & Will Turf

José Javier Rodríguez

Kari Rojas, Kisselback Ford

Nathan Rosenstein, SolarTech Universal

Einatan Rudolph, Seaborn Strategic

Sam Scott, Corn Products International (Now Ingredion) Retired CEO

Pam Segal, UBS Financial Services, Inc. Senior Vice President

Ronald Silver, Former State Senator and Attorney

Richard Simring, Fuerst Ittleman David & Joseph Consultant

Carlos Guillermo Smith, Florida House of Representatives

Mike Tomas, US Stem Cell Inc. President and CEO

Jay Tome, Our Children PSN

Marta Torroella-Kouri, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

Maria Tyler, Bessemer TrustPrincipal, Senior Client Advisor

Raul Valdes-Fauli, City of Coral Gables Mayor

Steven Vancore, VancoreJones Communications Partner

Ricky Vescovacci, EFINorth America Channel Sales Manager

Chris Wills, T.E.A.M. 305 Team Leader

Jason Altmire

Maria Antuna

Chanelle Artiles

Stacey A Benjamin

Charles Bertram

Amy Blaha

Donna Blaha

Steve Bunin

Sandra Carroll

Arlen Castillo

Lorraine Chelbian

Shellie Daguillard

Dana Doty

Regina D'Souza 

April Dwyer

Nick Famularo

Joan Fearer

George Fernandez

Gary G. Friend II

Dorothy Fulcher Meigs

Pilar Giorgini

Richard Golden-Dewitt

Eduardo Gruvman

Mattie Harms

Jeremy Hayes  

Gabrielle Hitzemann

Tanya Ilangantileke

Tara Jordan

Susan Kelley 

Ryan Lay

William R Layman

Barbara Lengemann

Vivian Lopez-Blanco

Claude Lumpkin

Cristina Lumpkin

Gillian Luongo

Barbara Mainster Rollason

Dede Marine

Luis Martinez

Elisabeth McCombs-Posey

Patrick McGann

Amy Mercado

Stephanie Moreno 

Evalyn Narramore 

C. Outhwaite

Larry Peterson

Karamat Qayum

Antonio Rodriguez

Kristen Rosen Gonzalez 

Wayne Schucker

Vickie Schultz

Nancy Shivers

Alice Shurtz 

Enrique Sosa

Beverly Swartz

Martha V. Talavera

Linda Thompson

Linda Walker

Debbie Wehking

Susan Gill Williamson

SB168/HB527 is an anti-immigrant bill, targeting our most vulnerable neighbors.

  • 1 in 5 Floridians is an immigrant. 20% are without documents.

  • It’s an attempt at a massive deportation campaign.

  • Punishes those who fled violence & poverty to find safety here.

  • Ruins Florida’s reputation of being a welcoming, inclusive state.


 

SB168/HB527 will overwhelm local law enforcement - making all Floridians less safe.

  • Florida I.C.E. detainers are notorious for deporting documented U.S. citizens.

  • This bill hands over all of these responsibilities to our local police.

  • Distracts local officers from their everyday responsibilities.

  • Forces officers to work longer hours than they already do.

  • Erodes trust between law enforcement & our communities.

  • Scares immigrants from reporting a crime or seeking help.


 

SB168/HB527 will destroy our economy, which heavily relies on immigrants.

  • The bill would cost Florida billions and includes a hidden tax to be paid by everyone.

  • 1 in 3 self-employed business owners is an immigrant.

  • This bill could persuade at least 10% of immigrants to leave Florida

  • Florida will suffer financially without our immigrant neighbors:

    • $121.4 million loss in taxes

    • Loss of $3.5 billion in GDP

    • $1.4 Billion loss in wage earnings

The Immigration Partnership and Coalition Fund (IMPAC) works to change public policy around immigration through building a coalition of reasonable, rational moderates to facilitate bipartisan action that is economically necessary, politically smart, and morally correct. Learn more at https://impacfund.org.

 

The American Business Immigration Coalition (ABIC) promotes sensible immigration reform that supports the economy of the United States, provides American companies with both the high-skilled and low-skilled talent they need, and allows the integration of immigrants into our economy as consumers, workers, entrepreneurs, and citizens. For more information, visit http://americanbic.biz.