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Migrant explains decision to leave Florida for Colorado

She decided to move shortly after the Gov. Ron DeSantis' (R) new laws that impact many immigrants in the state.

DENVER, Colorado — On July, Florida will implement immigration legislation that drastically impacts the lives of immigrants without permanent residency status in the United States. 

The immigration laws make it a felony for anyone who helps with transportation into the state for immigrants without documentation. 

It also invalidates out-of-state drivers licenses issued to immigrants who lack permanent status. Colorado provides driver's licenses, meaning those who travel there would not be able to drive with legal authorization in the state of Florida. 

The legislation allows also requires hospitals that accept Medicaid to ask patients if they are citizens. 

Perhaps most significantly, the legislation will drastically impact if people will have on the ability to find work in the state of Florida. It requires business with 25 or more employees to use a program to confirm if employees can work with authorization in the United States. 

"It's a law against immigrants," said Adriana, who recently arrived to Colorado after first making it to Florida. "As to not to run the risk of being deported. I came here." 

Originally from Venezuela, Adriana made the five-month journey to the United States. She crossed the border at Matamoros, Mexico. Afterward, she decided she would go to Miami where she had a friend she was close with. 

She had only been there for a little over a month before the legislation. 

"After the law went into effect, after two or three days, there was no one working," said Adriana.

Due to the limited options for work, Adriana decided to leave and come to Colorado. 

"[I was] a little desperate at first because I didn't have anywhere to go. There were people here who told me they would receive me but when I arrived, no one was able to receive me. So, I know a friend here and she told me where the shelter is. So I had options at the very least," said Adriana. 

Since her arrival in the past week, she has been applying to find work in restaurants, stores or anywhere that might take her.

A person who migrates to the United States has to wait for employment authorization if they apply for asylum, though the state of Colorado, unlike Florida, does not financially penalize an employer if they're found to have a person working for them who is not legally authorized to do so.

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