PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis is expected to sign one of the most sweeping sets of immigration laws in the coming days.
Among the proposals is one that calls for criminal penalties for those who hire and help undocumented immigrants.
Contact 5 was at a strategy session in Palm Beach County where those who work with immigrants are looking at how they can still help when the new laws take effect.
About 30 area Hispanic leaders, including ministers and immigration lawyers, met in Palm Beach Gardens to decide how they can help the immigrant community without getting in trouble with the law.
They're worried about one of the toughest bills lawmakers recently passed this week, which would make it a felony for giving a ride, a job, or providing shelter to an undocumented immigrant.
Another bill would force medical facilities to ask patients about their immigration status and report that to the state.
Among those at the meeting was Juan Pagan, the president of the Florida Hispanic American Chamber of Commerce, who said the effects of the new laws are still unclear.
"We have to know all the concerns and all the span of this new law," Pagan said. "What is going to be covered? What is not going to be covered and how it affects the population."
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But supporters of the measures, including many people who migrated legally to the U.S., said the majority of Floridians support these sweeping laws.
"We have to do what we can at the state level to make sure that our state is not a magnet once these people do cross these borders that are left wide open," state Rep. Berny Jacques, R-Clearwater, said.
Jacques co-sponsored many of the immigration bills.
Opponents of these bills said the laws are unconstitutional.
The Hispanic leaders believe the case will head to court where they hope a judge will delay, and eventually deny, implementation of the measures.