FACT FOCUS: Movies of empty retailer aisles are unrelated to Florida’s immigration invoice

A sweeping immigration invoice just lately signed into regulation by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is sparking fears of abandoned workplaces – and barren grocery cabinets.

The brand new regulation, set to take impact in July, would require companies with greater than 25 staffers to confirm that their staff can legally work within the U.S. by means of a federal system, amongst different restrictions. Critics have mentioned the change might result in a scarcity of staff on farms and building websites.

Amid outcry, a pair of movies circulating extensively on social media are claiming to point out empty supermarkets within the Sunshine State, purportedly as a result of truck drivers boycotting deliveries to the state in protest of the immigration overhaul.

However the footage is unrelated. And whereas some truckers have posted on social media calling on drivers to curb deliveries to Florida, immigration advocates say it’s too quickly to inform if there can be any widespread motion.

Listed here are the information.

CLAIM: Movies present empty grocery retailer cabinets in Florida as a result of truckers are boycotting the state over a brand new immigration regulation.

THE FACTS: Whereas each clips present Florida shops, neither has something to do with the brand new regulation or a boycott. One is from October and reveals shortages throughout Hurricane Ian, whereas one other reveals a current refrigeration challenge at a single Walmart Supercenter.

The primary video reveals a client panning their digicam across the fridges and freezers at a Winn-Dixie, whereas saying “Supermarkets are empty in Florida. There’s nothing, nothing, look.”

“Undocumented staff are leaving Florida in droves. It’s affecting farmers, lodges, eating places, building, garden corporations, & particularly grocery shops w perishables,” reads one Twitter put up of the footage, which had acquired greater than 6,000 likes as of Wednesday. “Understandably many Hispanic truck drivers are refusing to enter the state. Properly completed DeSantis!”

Nevertheless, the video was initially posted on TikTok in Oct. 2, 2022, after Hurricane Ian made landfall. The caption on the unique put up consists of the hashtag “hurricaneian” and says, “no meals within the Winn-Dixie in Florida on 17 and 92,” referring to a retailer in Fern Park, a suburb of Orlando.

The second video shared on social media platforms reveals a big signal that reads “Packaged Deli” and above {a partially} empty refrigerated aisle. “No groceries smh unhappy these truckers weren’t taking part in after they mentioned they weren’t delivering something to Florida !!!” reads the caption on a TikTok put up tagging the placement as Palmetto, Florida, with greater than 800,000 likes.

The signage within the video matches a Walmart retailer in Palmetto, however the grocery chain mentioned the dearth of groceries within the clip was unrelated to any provide points.

Charles Crowson, a spokesperson for Walmart, mentioned in an e-mail that it was a results of a fridge malfunction and ought to be repaired inside the subsequent few days.

Whereas the movies are unrelated to the current laws, there have been posts on social media from Latino truck drivers responding to the brand new legal guidelines by threatening to boycott deliveries to the state and calling on others to take action.

Along with the brand new guidelines round E-Confirm, the regulation would offer $12 million for DeSantis’ migrant relocation initiative, require hospitals that settle for Medicaid to incorporate a citizenship query on its consumption types and prohibit native governments from offering cash to organizations that challenge identification playing cards to immigrants missing everlasting authorized standing within the nation. It will additionally invalidate out-of-state driver’s licenses for that very same group.

Immigration advocacy teams inform the AP it’s too early to have knowledge on the impacts of the regulation because it was solely signed final week and doesn’t go into impact till July 1.

Thomas Kennedy, a spokesperson with the Florida Immigrant Coalition, mentioned he was conscious of the truckers’ boycott threats, however mentioned it’s too quickly to say if there can be large-scale scale actions.

“It stays to be seen, I imply, you realize, boycotts and strikes and work stoppages take numerous time, numerous numerous group. And that is effervescent up. However once more, the regulation hasn’t even gone into impact,” mentioned Kennedy. “There’s positively the components and a few power there.”

Kennedy mentioned the coalition has heard anecdotal reviews that many migrants are afraid to point out as much as work for the reason that regulation was signed and there was apprehension locally.

The brand new laws will influence building and manufacturing facility staff, in keeping with Bethzaida Olivera Vazquez, who’s the nationwide director of coverage and laws for The League of United Latin American Residents, which is the oldest Latino civil rights group within the U.S.

“This regulation would have a really dangerous impact for companies,” mentioned Vazquez. “If there have been to be a boycott amongst truckers the impacts might be important.”


That is a part of AP’s effort to handle extensively shared misinformation, together with work with outdoors corporations and organizations so as to add factual context to deceptive content material that’s circulating on-line. Be taught extra about fact-checking at AP.

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