Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed the strongest anti-illegal immigration legislation into law on Wednesday as President Joe Biden’s crisis on the U.S. southern border is set to dramatically worsen this week with the ending of Title 42.
“The Biden Border Crisis has wreaked havoc across the United States and has put Americans in danger,” DeSantis said in a statement. “In Florida, we will not stand idly by while the federal government abandons its lawful duties to protect our country.”
“The legislation I signed today gives Florida the most ambitious anti-illegal immigration laws in the country, fighting back against reckless federal government policies and ensuring the Florida taxpayers are not footing the bill for illegal immigration,” he added.
The law does the following:
- Requires employers to use E-Verify to check the employment eligibility of employees, and fines employers who fail to use E-Verify $1,000 per day.
- Suspends licenses of any employer who knowingly employs illegal aliens, and makes using a fake ID to gain employment a felony.
- Enhances penalties for human smuggling, including making knowingly transporting five or more illegal aliens or a single illegal alien minor a second-degree felony subject to a $10,000 fine and up to 15 years in prison.
- Provides $12 million to continue the Unauthorized Alien Transport Program to relocate illegal immigrants to sanctuary jurisdictions.
- Bans local governments and NGOs from issuing identification documents to illegal aliens and invalidates all out-of-state driver licenses issued exclusively to illegal aliens.
- Requires hospitals to collect and report healthcare costs for illegal aliens.
Florida is now the largest state in the Union to make E-Verify mandatory for employment. pic.twitter.com/RGjw35awqK
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) May 10, 2023
The New York Times said last month that DeSantis’ legislative push was “the toughest crackdown” on illegal immigration by any state in the country.
The crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border is set to explode on Thursday with the ending of Title 42, although the Biden administration did bring back a Trump-era immigration rule this week that disqualifies migrants from applying for asylum in the U.S. if they neglected to first apply for asylum in other countries they traveled through, such as Mexico. Hundreds of asylum officers were trained in how to enforce the rule on Tuesday ahead of Title 42’s expiration.
The new rule, a reversal of President Joe Biden’s campaign promises, comes as the administration has failed for more than two years to control historic levels of illegal immigration into the U.S.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott slammed Biden this week in an interview, saying that his policies are singlehandedly responsible for the crisis and that Biden’s last minute attempts to fix the problem were a slap in face to the states suffering from the crisis.
The situation rapidly deteriorated “only when Biden came in and eliminated all those policies and put down a welcome back — welcome mat to the entire world that the border is now open, that we suddenly have the chaos that has caused solely by policies put into place by Joe Biden,” Abbott said.
Abbott laughed at Biden’s attempt to place a small number of troops along the 2,000 mile U.S.-Mexico border, saying that Biden was sending them there “to do paperwork, and he’s not going to secure the border.”