The New Law Against Immigrants in Florida Affects the Church

Members of Shalom Evangelical Mennonite Church (Tampa, Fla.) pray together. — Javier Márquez

A new law intended to restrict the ability of individuals without immigration documentation to live and work in Florida was already having an impact on churches in the state before it went into effect July 1.

Javier Márquez wrote in a release from Mosaic Conference of Mennonite Church USA that the bill Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law forces businesses with more than 25 employees to verify the immigration status of workers. It also prohibits the use of driver’s licenses not issued by Florida.

The law creates fines of $1,000 a day for not using a federal immigration status database in a certain time period and requires hospitals to ask about patients’ immigration status.

Secundino Casas, pastor of Iglesia Evangélica Menonita Shalom in Tampa, said many people are fearful.

“Our faith community is 95% immigrants; half have gone to other states,” he said. “So, we try to respond to those who remain. We have invited an immigration lawyer to our church to have guidance and firsthand information.”

Andres Mendoza, pastor of Iglesia Menonita Encuentro de Renovación in Miami, said some members of his congregation are planning to leave Florida as well.

“Let us ask God together to help them make good decisions and give them peace,” he said. “One of these families has young daughters, and they are very afraid of being separated from their loved ones. Let us pray together to our God, so that he gives a way out of this situation.”

See the original article in Mosaic News.

Anabaptist World

Anabaptist World Inc. (AW) is an independent journalistic ministry serving the global Anabaptist movement. We seek to inform, inspire and Read More

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