Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis announced on Thursday a series of new legislative actions that his administration is proposing to combat President Joe Biden’s illegal immigration crisis.
The new legislative proposal has a very high chance of passing thanks to the supermajorities that Republicans have in both chambers of the state legislature, as well as DeSantis’ popularity in the state.
The extensive legislative proposal increases penalties for human smuggling, strengthens statutes for the detention of illegal aliens, requires universal use of E-Verify, enhances penalties for document falsification, and prohibits the issuance by local governments of ID cards to people who are not lawfully in the country, the governor’s office said.
“This country is unable to control its own borders,” DeSantis said during a press conference where he unveiled the proposal. “We’ve seen millions of people come across illegally over the last two plus years. We’ve seen China, our number-one adversary, fly a spy balloon clear over the continental United States with impunity and basically humiliate our country in the process.”
The full legislative proposal includes the following penalty enhancements to combat the smuggling of illegal aliens:
- 3rd degree felony to knowingly transport, conceal, or harbor illegal aliens — punishable by 5 years in prison.
- 2nd degree felony when the illegal alien is a minor — punishable by 15 years in prison.
- Transported individuals will be detained by law enforcement as material witnesses.
- A person charged with these offenses will not be released from jail until their first appearance.
The proposal requires all employers in the state of Florida to use E-Verify and allows the state to revoke a business’ license if the employer has two violations within a 24-month period. The proposal also makes it a felony to use false identification to obtain eligibility.
DeSantis’ plan disincentivizes illegal immigration in Florida with the following measures:
- Prohibits local governments from issuing ID cards to unauthorized aliens and invalidates out-of-state licenses issued to unauthorized aliens.
- Requires affirmation of United States citizenship and legal Florida resident status for voter registration.
- Requires hospitals to collect data on immigration status of patients and to regularly submit reports on cost of care provided to illegal aliens.
- Prohibits out-of-state tuition waivers at colleges and universities for unauthorized aliens.
- Prevents unauthorized aliens from being allowed to practice law.
- Closes loopholes that allow illegal aliens to be released from ICE detention.
“With this legislation, Florida is continuing to crack down on the smuggling of illegal aliens, stopping municipalities from issuing ID cards to people here illegally, and ensuring that employers are hiring American citizens or those here legally,” said DeSantis. “Florida is a law and order state, and we won’t turn a blind eye to the dangers of Biden’s Border Crisis. We will continue to take steps to protect Floridians from reckless federal open border policies.”
BREAKING: Gov. Ron DeSantis announces new plan to combat "Biden's border crisis"
– Require ALL employers use E-Verify
– Increase penalties for human smuggling
– Crack down on nonprofits creating IDs for illegal migrants
– Invalidate all out-of-state licenses for illegal migrants pic.twitter.com/cv3Sb7tWL4
— Florida’s Voice (@FLVoiceNews) February 23, 2023
Former President Donald Trump’s DHS chief Chad Wolf praised DeSantis over the legislative agenda, writing: “Florida is a leader in how state’s can combat the Biden Border Crisis. Enhanced penalties for human smuggling and mandating E-Verify are powerful deterrents all states should adopt.”
Florida is a leader in how state’s can combat the Biden Border Crisis. Enhanced penalties for human smuggling and mandating E-Verify are powerful deterrents all states should adopt. https://t.co/DTLFzBLoTu
— Chad Wolf (@ChadFWolf) February 24, 2023