- Gov. Ron DeSantis proposed measures on Thursday to enhance the regulation of illegal immigration in Florida.
- Aspects of the proposals include requiring all employers to use the E-Verify background check platform and prohibiting local governments from issuing identification cards to unauthorized migrants.
- False identification to obtain employment eligibility would be a felony offense and employers violating E-Verify requirements twice in 24 months could have their licenses revoked
- Hospitals would collect data on the immigration status of patients and submit reports outlining the costs of care for undocumented migrants, and undocumented individuals would be prohibited from practicing law in Florida.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has proposed a series of measures to enhance regulation on illegal immigration in the state, including requiring all employers to use the E-Verify background check platform and prohibiting local governments from issuing identification cards to unauthorized migrants.
Under DeSantis’ proposal, all employers in the state of Florida would be required to use the E-Verify background check platform to determine employment eligibility. The legislation would also make it a felony offense to use false identification in order to obtain employment eligibility.
If an employer is found to violate the E-Verify requirements twice within the span of 24 months, they would be open to a license revocation.
“This will expand upon our current requirements which are just with public employees and contractors with the state of Florida,” said DeSantis. “If you have different types of enticements, you’re going to end up having more people that want to come illegally. If you remove the enticement of employment, then they’re not going to want to come illegally.”
DeSantis proposes to further disincentivize illegal immigration by prohibiting local governments from issuing identification cards to unauthorized migrants, while also invalidating any out-of-state licenses issued to unauthorized migrants. The bills would also require affirmation of American citizenship and legal state resident status for voter registration.
“Our bill would require that when you register to vote that you affirm or swear under penalty of perjury that you are a United States citizen,” said DeSantis. “If you check that box and you’re not, you’re opening yourself to prosecution. We don’t want anybody voting here illegally, and if you’re not a citizen here in this country you should not be voting in our elections.”
The proposal also details a mandate that would require hospitals to collect data on the immigration status of patients and to regularly submit reports outlining the cost of care that is provided to undocumented migrants.
Unauthorized individuals would no longer be able to receive out-of-state tuition waivers at state higher education institutions, should the proposal be adopted by lawmakers. The measure would repeal a bill sponsored by Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez in 2014 that made students who were brought to the United States illegally as children eligible for in-state college tuition.
Additionally, undocumented individuals would be prohibited from practicing law in the state of Florida.
“Now we have supermajorities in the legislature. I think we have a strong mandate to be able to implement the policies we ran on, and these are policies I’ve been for since the day I became governor,” DeSantis said. “I think a lot of this stuff should be a no-brainer.”
The proposals also target human smuggling and its related criminal penalties, seeking to raise the charge for “knowingly transporting, concealing, or harboring illegal aliens” to a 3rd degree felony punishable by five years in prison. When the illegal alien is a minor, the offense is a 2nd degree felony punishable by 15 years in prison.