JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Three separate civil rights groups have issued their own travel warning for tourists visiting Florida citing recently passed legislation that the groups say has created a shadow of fear in Florida. Now, state officials are fighting back. Some are coming to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ defense.
Hispanic civil rights groups are taking issue with a bill that the DeSantis administration said is the strongest anti-immigration legislation ever created in Florida. A spokesman for the League of United Latin American Citizens said Tuesday his organization stands shoulder to shoulder with the NAACP who also issued a travel advisory for other reasons.
MORE: Largest US gay rights group issues Florida travel advisory for what it says are anti-LGBTQ+ laws | NAACP issues travel advisory for Florida, says state is ‘openly hostile’ toward Black, LGBTQ people under Gov. DeSantis
DeSantis has been mostly quiet about the various travel advisories issued for minority and LGBTQ populations but Florida Senator Rick Scott and Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody aren’t mincing any words online.
“Stop playing games, @NAACP,” Moody tweeted. “Where would you rather take your family on vacation—to sunny Florida where the crime rate is at a 50-year low, or to Chicago where 23 people were shot over the weekend? If you really wanted to protect travelers, you would issue an advisory for places where people are most likely to be murdered.”
Stop playing games, @NAACP.— AG Ashley Moody (@AGAshleyMoody) May 23, 2023
Where would you rather take your family on vacation—to sunny Florida where the crime rate is at a 50-year low, or to Chicago where 23 people were shot over the weekend?
If you really wanted to protect travelers, you would issue an advisory for places…
Senator Scott issued his own travel advisory Tuesday addressed to socialists visiting the state of Florida.
“Travelers should be aware that attempts to spread Socialism in north Florida will fail and be met with laughter and mockery,” Scott tweeted.
Latino civil rights leaders responded.
“There’s no question that SB 1718 is the framework for a man who’s bent on getting to the Oval Office over anybody’s back and well-being. It’s sad to see that a man with his potential is stooping to something so low to get to the White House,” said David Cruz, spokesman for the League of United Latin American Citizens.
Cruz said his group issued its travel warning in direct response to the bill. He said new anti-immigration laws have created fear in Florida communities adding that if history repeats itself, Florida’s economy is in for a rude awakening.
″It is so far-reaching it goes beyond anything we’ve seen since SB 1070 in Arizona. And if Governor DeSantis hasn’t talked to former Governor Jan Brewer, he might want to give her a call. Because when we did this in Arizona, it cost that state $141 million plus in the first four months alone,” Cruz said.
The various travel advisories have also caught the attention of Florida tourism officials with summer vacations quickly approaching. Visit Orlando released this statement saying part:
“It is too early to predict the impact of the travel advisory. We have been receiving inquiries and concerned calls from groups and travelers primarily around the safety of our destination. Orlando has always been and will continue to be a diverse, welcoming, and inclusive community.”
Equality Florida also issued a travel advisory saying recent legislation is hostile to the LGBTQ community and restricts access to reproductive health care. Equality Florida also takes issue with the recent repealing of gun safety laws, and says there’s been an attack on public education through book bans.