A group of Republican lawmakers in Florida recently hosted an event in the city of Hialeah after a wave of migrant workers left the state responding to Governor Ron DeSantis‘ new legislation.

In a series of videos posted to Twitter, a Miami-based activist and writer named Thomas Kennedy revealed the Republican legislators reversing course.

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Additionally, they are said to be reassuring community members that the bill is not as severe as they think. They need the workers to come back.

Florida faces the consequences of Ron DeSantis’ anti-migrant law

Almost immediately after DeSantis signed his controversial new bill, SB1718, into law on May 10, migrant communities across the state responded with widespread work walkouts.

Now, nearly a month later, some Republican lawmakers are begging migrants to convince their loved ones to return to work. Kennedy, who covered the event, initially warned his followers about what legislators intended to do.

However, upon arriving at the meeting, Kennedy characterized what he saw as “disgusting” after seeing Representative Rick Roth admitting to a room of Latino migrants that the bill only exists to scare them.

Soon after, Roth said he needed the migrant community to get “your people” to return to Florida and continue working. He also claims that they have people who will “explain the bill” to them more effectively.

Following Roth’s remarks, Representative Alina Garcia approached the podium to echo Roth’s sentiments. She said that the bill intends to “scare people from coming” to the state.

In a tweet, Kennedy says Garcia “irresponsibly lies” when she says that the bill “really doesn’t have any teeth.”

Despite their statements, both Roth and Garcia agree the bill should proceed as planned, emphasizing the need for legal immigration. Roth reaffirmed his allegiance to Governor DeSantis.

However, the tone behind closed doors is very different

Despite their attempts to quell the anxieties of migrant workers living in Florida, DeSantis’ office insists the bill is, in fact, a major shift for the state’s migrant working class.

In an interview with Insider, Roth admitted, “The bill has a lot of negative consequences that I’m trying to mitigate.” While also acknowledging the “positive consequences” of the new law.

Roth says that even though many families have some members who are in the country legally while others are not, “They’re all deciding that they’re not going to split up and live in two different states.”

He added, “It’s going to be a major problem for agriculture, construction, and tourism, which just about happens to be most jobs in Florida.”

Changes to the Florida workforce, including the E-Verify screening system, have migrants and their families moving to nearby states less targeted work opportunities. According to CBS News, migrants are fleeing the state despite not having the proper ID to do so.

Roth admitted he signed the bill because he felt obligated to, despite DeSantis denying any opportunity to amend it. “It was take it or leave it,” he said. Still, Roth thinks the bill has “a good purpose” by discouraging migrants from entering Florida illegally.

Nevertheless, Florida’s migrant population isn’t backing down as many continue to protest DeSantis’ bill.

Despite the reticence of some Republican lawmakers in Florida, DeSantis’ office is only reaffirming the severity of SB1718.

“This bill has teeth,” said Jeremy Redfern, a DeSantis representative. “Businesses that knowingly hire illegal aliens over Floridians are putting their licenses in jeopardy. We encourage business owners not to roll the dice and test the governor’s commitment to uphold the law.”

Redfern assured people that DeSantis did not sign the bill to “posture.”

The governor’s immigration antics may get him in trouble

DeSantis’ crusade against unlawful migration into Florida could result in criminal charges following his latest migrant flight to Sacramento.

In a TODAY Show interview, California Governor Gavin Newsom said his characterization of DeSantis as a “small, pathetic man” was “generous.” He plans to investigate the Florida governor’s tactics as a potential crime.

A sheriff’s office in Texas also recommended criminal charges against DeSantis for a recent migrant flight from San Antonio to Martha’s Vineyard. A district attorney in Texas recently filed a case against the governor.

The Unlawful Restraint filing includes both misdemeanor and felony charges. Some of the migrants DeSantis flew out of the state were minors.