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Taking Aim at Biden, Ron DeSantis Looks to Crack Down on Illegal Immigration in Florida

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On Thursday, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced a proposal “to take action against the increasing threats posed by illegal immigration as a result of the Biden administration’s failure to secure our nation’s borders.”

At a media event in Jacksonville, DeSanits offered some of the details of his proposal.

“By increasing penalties for human smuggling, strengthening statutes for the detention of illegal aliens, requiring universal use of E-Verify, enhancing penalties for document falsification, and prohibiting the issuance by local governments of ID cards to people who are not lawfully in the country, Florida will lead the way in protecting Americans from the deleterious effects of the Left’s open borders agenda,” the governor’s office noted.

“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.”

“Human smuggling, drug trafficking, and a host of other criminal activities are steadily spilling across the Southern Border and into our state, as bad actors seek to exploit the hard-earned wealth and hard-won freedoms of our citizens for criminal gain,” said Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Mark Glass. “In tandem with our continued vigilance and cooperation with our law enforcement partners across the state, the initiatives championed today by Governor DeSantis will help to keep Floridians safer than ever, protecting our citizens from malefactors who are illegally in our state and removing them from our communities altogether.”

“The border crisis this nation is experiencing is a direct result of the federal government refusing to enforce immigration laws,” said state Sen. Blaise Ingoglia, R=Spring Hill. “The problem is so bad that the federal government should declare itself its own disaster area. It is reckless and an abomination, and our Governor will not stand by idly as this open-borders agenda continues to take over our families, friends and our communities. As a matter of fact, he will boldly push Florida as the blueprint by which other states should fight illegal immigration,”

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“The legislation also invalidates all out-of-state licenses to unauthorized aliens, requires those registering to vote to affirm they are United States citizens and legal residents of Florida, prevents unauthorized immigrants from being admitted to practice law, and eliminates out-of-state tuition fee waivers for undocumented immigrant students. Additionally, the proposal requires hospitals to collect data on the immigration status of patients and the costs to provide care to illegal aliens and regularly report the data to the Governor and Legislature. As directed by Executive Order 21-223, this data was collected and during the 2021-22 Fiscal Year health care costs for illegal aliens in Florida was nearly $340 million and taxpayers were on the hook for more than two-thirds of this cost,” the governor’s office noted.

The increased penalties for human smuggling follow the recommendations of the grand jury impaneled by the Florida Supreme Court at DeSantis’ request and will:

Make it a third degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison, a $5,000 fine, and five years of probation, to knowingly transport, conceal, or harbor an illegal alien within or into the state;

Make it a second degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, if the illegal alien is younger than 18 years old; and

Specify that a person commits a separate offense for each individual transported, concealed, or harbored and allow transported individuals to be detained by law enforcement as material witnesses.

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  • Florida Daily

    Florida Daily offers news, insights and analysis as we cover the most important issues in the state, from education, to business and politics.

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