Florida Bill Puts Stricter Penalties On Illegal Immigrants

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) recently signed a bill to disincentivize illegal immigration, given the Biden administration’s refusal to secure the southern border.

During a press conference, the Florida governor blamed the Biden administration for refusing to enact border security measures and said Florida would not accept illegal immigrants.

“The federal government has failed in its responsibility to secure our southern border, leaving states to fend for themselves,” DeSantis said. “In Florida, we do not tolerate illegal immigration, let alone lawlessness committed by illegal aliens who shouldn’t be here in the first place.”

The Florida governor’s office released a summary of Senate Bill 1036, which will increase penalties for crimes committed by illegal immigrants in the U.S. after having been previously deported.

Florida’s Voice pointed out that “a third-degree felony (up to 5 years in prison) after deportation will [now] be charged as a second-degree felony (up to 15 years in prison.”

The Federalist reported that House Bill 1451 bars localities in Florida from “accepting ID cards issued to illegal aliens by other jurisdictions.” Current Florida law already prohibits counties and municipalities from providing foreign nationals with identification cards.

The legislation that DeSantis signed, House Bill 1589, “increases penalties on individuals who operate a vehicle without a driver’s license.”

Both measures are scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2024. The new laws come after the Florida governor signed legislation in 2023, imposing strict penalties for employers hiring illegal immigrants while prohibiting local governments from providing such individuals with identification documents.

In the recent press conference, DeSantis revealed that Florida Fish and Wildlife officers intercepted a vessel carrying 25 Haitian nationals. After authorities apprehended the boat, drugs, firearms and night-vision gear were found. The illegal immigrants were later sent to the Coast Guard to face deportation.

The revelation came just days after the Florida governor sent state authorities to the state’s Eastern coast to tackle a surge of illegal immigrants arriving from Haiti, given the country’s civil unrest.

Florida’s fight against illegal immigration comes as the Biden administration refuses to combat the issue, despite illegal immigrants being involved in a series of recent high-profile crimes.