Speaking from a Jacksonville podium yesterday, Governor Ron DeSantis unveiled an extensive legislation plan aimed at preventing illegal immigration. Describing Florida as a law and order state, the Governor accused the Biden administration of failing to secure America’s borders.
“We will continue to take steps to protect Floridians from reckless federal open border policies,” he said.
The sweeping legislation includes measures that increase penalties for human smuggling by making it a third-degree felony, punishable by five years in prison and five years probation, to transport, conceal, or harbor an illegal immigrant into Florida. In addition, if the illegal migrant is under 18 years of age, it will become a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison along with a fine as high as $10,000. Those transported illegally will be detained under law enforcement officials as material witnesses.
The Governor will also sign an executive order prohibiting state agencies from resettling illegal immigrants in Florida along with refusing to license facilities that house any illegal unaccompanied minors.
DeSantis underscored the importance of affording only legal citizens the opportunity to work. If the legislation passes, all employers must use E-Verify to determine employment eligibility.
The proposal also increases penalties for falsifying documents and prohibits local governments from issuing ID cards to illegal migrants.
“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,” he said.
While Florida presently prohibits illegal migrants from obtaining driver’s licenses, “the legislation will invalidate all out of state licenses that have been given to illegal aliens,” he said.
DeSantis also addressed Florida’s voting requirements.
“Our bill will require when you register to vote, that you affirm or swear under penalty of perjury, that you are a United States citizen,” he said.
He added that those voting illegally will be leaving themselves open to prosecution. The bill will also prevent unauthorized immigrants from practicing law in Florida.
The proposal also closes loopholes for releasing individuals from ICE detention and prohibits illegal migrants from receiving out-of-state tuition waivers in Florida.
The legislation also includes an executive order for mobilizing law enforcement and National Guard resources to intercede illegal migrants attempting to land on Florida’s shores.
Additionally, the proposal requires hospitals to collect data and report data to the Governor and Florida’s legislature on the health care costs accrued by caring for illegal migrant patients. According to a press release issued by the Governor’s office, data collected in the Fiscal year 2021-22 showed that Florida’s tax payers “were on the hook” for more than two-thirds of a $340 million dollar bill.