Ron DeSantis Rolls Out Plan to Crack Down on Illegal Immigration

During a press conference held in Jacksonville on February 23, 2023, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis put forward a set of policy proposals to clamp down on illegal immigration taking place across Florida. He specifically criticized President Joe Biden for his “reckless … open border policies.”

Among some of DeSantis’ proposals were initiatives “would increase criminal penalties for human smugglers, enforce a statewide ban on employers hiring illegal aliens, and prohibit counties from issuing driver’s licenses to illegal aliens, among other things,” per a report by John Binder of Breitbart News. 

“I think we’re going to be able to do more in the next couple of months when the legislature reconvenes than anyone’s been able to do in the modern history of Florida,” DeSantis stated.

One notable aspect of DeSantis’s illegal immigration crackdown plan consists of imposing a third-degree felony on individuals who knowingly transport, conceal, or harbor an illegal alien in Florida. A second-degree felony is imposed if the illegal alien is a minor.

“We also say that it’s a separate offense for each individual transported, concealed, or harbored, and then when people are being transported, even though they may not have violated this, you know, they’re gonna be detained as material witnesses,” DeSantis continued.“… [W]e need to update our laws to be able to get this done.”

On top of that, DeSantis is hoping to impose E-Verify on all employers in Florida, which he previously proposed in 2020. 

Back then, DeSantis requested elected officials to mandate all private and public employers to verify that their employees and newly hired employees were not illegal aliens.

Republicans ended up watering down the proposal to only be applicable to companies receiving state contracts after facing immense lobbying pressure from the agricultural and touristic sectors. 

Regardless, DeSantis signed this watered down version of the E-Verify. 

DeSantis’ updated E-Verify proposal would slap a felony penalty for illegal aliens who use a fake green card, Social Security Number (SNN), and visa to go through the employment verification system. If an employer is caught violating the requirement two times in a two-year timeframe, their licenses can be stripped. 

“If you have the ability to have different types of enticements, you’re gonna end up having more people that are going to want to come illegally,” DeSantis said.

Additionally, the proposal prohibits counties from issuing driver’s licenses to illegal aliens, it prohibits illegal aliens from practicing law, and it bars illegal aliens from obtaining out-of-state tuition waivers to attend colleges and universities in Florida.

Binder goes into further details about DeSantis’ proposal here

DeSantis is correct to continue pushing for full-blown E-Verify. Irrespective of his flaw, DeSantis’ strongest aspect is his willingness to take on Big Business — an institution Republicans traditionally worshiped. Big Business is one of the biggest boosters of mass migration and it must be punished for its economic misbehavior.

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