DeSantis, Florida GOP proposing ‘nation’s strongest crackdown on illegal immigration’

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) has proposed what is being called the nation’s strongest crackdown on illegal immigration that any state in the country has ever undertaken and the Florida state legislature is moving to quickly pass it.

(Video Credit: Fox News)

They will be the strongest restrictions against illegal immigration that have been seen in the “modern history of Florida.” The Washington Examiner called it the “legal version of a physical wall.” The legislation will seek to cut off avenues of access to illegal immigrants and it will ostensibly make earning a living for them in the state much more difficult.

The governor announced his policy plan on Feb. 23. Its aim is to fight back against the border catastrophe created under President Biden’s administration and to deter illegal immigrants from coming to the Sunshine State.

Sen. Blaise Ingoglia (R-Fla.) is heavily promoting the legislation. He announced a bill that is stuffed with immigration restrictions. It pushes tougher criminal penalties on issues ranging from human smuggling to the use of fake IDs for work authorization. That includes stiffer penalties for human smugglers under the age of 18. The proposal also seeks to track the immigration status of patients who receive hospital care.

“SB 1718 is the most comprehensive and strongest, state-led anti-illegal immigrant piece of legislation ever put forth,” Ingoglia contended. “It is unfortunate that state governments are having to step in to protect their residents from the incompetence and unlawful open border policies of the Biden administration.”

As noted in DeSantis’ strategy, the legislation will seek to build “a legal barrier” instead of a physical barrier, according to James Massa, CEO of NumbersUSA.

Under the new laws, out-of-state driver’s licenses, including those issued to 1 million illegal immigrants in California, would be invalid.

The governor’s proposal would repeal a 2014 law that allowed certain illegal immigrants to attend college at in-state tuition rates and it would prohibit them from obtaining a license to practice law.

Anyone hiring employees that are found to be illegal immigrants would also be subjected to a sliding scale of financial penalties and jail time, with the termination of a business’s license as the final strike if they are found to be repeat offenders. According to Ingoglia, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement would have investigatory subpoena power to conduct audits of businesses at random.

The left is incensed by DeSantis’ proposal. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus called Ingoglia’s legislation “inhumane and outrageous.” But Ingoglia thinks the legislation will pass the GOP-controlled House and Senate before the session concludes in early May.

“When our governor comes out and weighs in on a piece of legislation such as this, you’re going to bet that it’s going to get across the finish line and it will become law,” Ingoglia proclaimed in a phone interview Friday.

Ingoglia contends that DeSantis’ strategy is all-encompassing and that it could become the textbook example of how other conservative states handle immigration.

“Unless you take away the inducements to come over illegally, you’ll never stop having people come over illegally,” he pointed out. “If states like Florida and states like Texas pass similar legislation taking away the magnets, we will then force the federal government into fixing the legal immigration system and securing our border. But without those outside forces — in this case, being the states doing it — the federal government will never act.”

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