FACT CHECK: Are Undocumented Workers ‘Leaving Florida In Droves?’

Christine Sellers | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Twitter purports undocumented workers leaving Florida are causing bare shelves in grocery stores.

Verdict: Misleading

The video originally stems from TikTok and was filmed during Hurricane Ian. The claim appears to be circulating in relation to an anti-illegal immigration bill signed by Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis that takes effect Jul. 1.

Fact Check:

DeSantis is expected to announce his 2024 presidential bid next week, according to CNN. His plan to officially file papers with the Federal Election Commission will coincide with a Miami event set to be attended by his generous long-time donors, CBS News reported.

“Undocumented workers are leaving Florida in droves. It’s effecting farmers, hotels, restaurants, construction, lawn companies, & especially grocery stores w perishables. Understandably many Hispanic truck drivers are refusing to enter the state. Nicely done DeSantis!” the Twitter post’s caption reads. The video, viewed over 700,000 times, shows rows of bare shelves inside a Florida grocery store.

The claim is misleading. The video originally stems from TikTok and was filmed during Hurricane Ian. The video was uploaded to the social media platform in October 2022, meaning it predates the anti-illegal immigration bill signed by DeSantis. The video also includes the hashtags “#floridaflooding” and “#hurricaneian.” (RELATED: Video Of DeSantis And Pence Meeting In Iowa Is From 2020)

DeSantis signed Senate Bill 1718, which tackles illegal immigration, on May 10, according to a press release. The bill makes E-Verify mandatory for any employer with 25 or more employees, the release indicates. The bill also imposes penalties for human smuggling and those who employ illegal immigrants and prevents local governments from issuing ID cards to illegal immigrants, among other measures. The bill takes effect on Jul. 1, 2023.

Although the bill has not yet taken effect, there are no credible news reports suggesting undocumented workers are currently leaving Florida or that their departure is affecting grocery stores. Likewise, DeSantis has neither responded to the claim via his website nor his verified social media accounts.

Ahead of the bill taking effect, Latino truck drivers have been posting videos on social media saying they will not be going to Florida.

Christine Sellers

Fact Check Reporter