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Civil rights groups issue Florida travel advisory, warn 'hostile' laws

Civil rights groups say recent laws and policies backed by Gov. Ron DeSantis are "hostile" and "cruel."
Civil rights groups issue Florida travel advisory, warn 'hostile' laws
Posted at 7:28 PM, May 21, 2023

The Board of Directors for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) issued a formal travel advisory for Florida on Saturday.

The advisory is a direct response to what the organization is describing as Governor Ron DeSantis' "unrelenting attacks on fundamental freedoms" of minority groups.   

"Florida is openly hostile toward African Americans, people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals. Before traveling to Florida, please understand that the state of Florida devalues and marginalizes the contributions of, and the challenges faced by African Americans and other communities of color," the advisory reads.

Tourism is a major industry in Florida, making it one of the most sought-after destinations for tourists in the United States, specially during the summer months that run from late June through September.

In the summer of 2022, Florida welcomed about 35.1 million visitors, according to state officials.

SEE MORE: Families sue over Florida's new bans on gender-affirming care

The advisory is being issued due to the decision made by DeSantis' administration earlier this year to prohibit the Advanced Placement course in African American Studies in Florida high schools.

"Governor Ron DeSantis and the state of Florida have engaged in a blatant war against principles of diversity and inclusion and rejected our shared identities to appeal to a dangerous, extremist minority," said Chair of the NAACP Board of Directors, Leon Russell. 

The NAACP is not the only organization issuing travel warnings. 

Earlier this week, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), one of the most prominent Latino advocacy groups in the U.S., urged people to avoid traveling to Florida ahead of a new immigration law scheduled to take effect in July.

Senate Bill 1718, which DeSantis signed into law May 10, will require employers to use the E-Verify system and impose criminal penalties on individuals transporting undocumented immigrants into Florida.

"LULAC President Garcia warns Latinos traveling in Florida with family members to be cautious if they encounter law enforcement," the advisory read, calling the bill "immoral and cruel."

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