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DeSantis Fights “Biden’s Border Crisis” with Immigration Reform Proposals in Florida

The legislative initiatives would increase penalties for human trafficking, strengthen employment verification and create disincentives for illegal aliens in the state.

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA — Governor Ron DeSantis outlined new proposals for the upcoming legislative session aimed at “fighting Biden’s border crisis.”

“This country is unable to control its own borders,” DeSantis said. “When you have policies that reckless, that impacts every state.”

The proposed legislation would elevate penalties for human smuggling, expand E-Verify requirements for employment and create an array of disincentives for illegal immigrants in the state.


The governor repeatedly pushed back on Left-wing policy across the country that benefits illegal aliens at the expense of law-abiding American citizens. His proposal would establish new disincentives that would mitigate such policies in Florida through a variety of new measures.

Under the new legislation:

  • Criminal penalties for “knowingly transporting, concealing or harboring illegal aliens” would be elevated to a third-degree felony and a second-degree felony if the illegal alien is a minor.
  • All employers would be required to use E-Verify to determine the work eligibility of their employees.
  • Local governments would no longer be permitted to fund nonprofits that issue state identification cards for illegal aliens and invalidate all out of state licenses given to illegal aliens.
  • Hospitals would be required to collect data on the cost of healthcare for illegal aliens. DeSantis said that the state estimates that these costs are in the “hundreds of millions” but added that “it could be more.”
  • Illegal immigrants would no longer be able to practice law – “How could you be violating the law and then be practicing the law?” DeSantis said.
  • New voter registration would require an attestation of American citizenship and Florida residency, under penalty of perjury.
  • Out-of-state tuition waivers at colleges and universities for illegal aliens would be prohibited.

“I think a lot of this stuff should be a no-brainer,” the governor said. “If you hold people accountable, they’re not going to want to do this but we need to update our laws to get this done.”


Following the governor’s introductory remarks, Rep. Kiyan Michael (R-Jacksonville) shared the tragic story of how her son was killed in a car accident caused by an illegal immigrant in 2007.

“The worst day of our lives was hearing that our child was never coming home again,” she said, holding back tears. “I am living proof that this governor has stood by our family’s side from the very beginning. He has stood boldly when other governors previously – I just have to say it – turned a deaf ear.”

Michael pointed to E-Verify as a necessary reform, because the man who killed her son was going to purchase paint for a job he was not legally permitted to do and thus his employer could not be subsequently identified.

“That’s not good enough. When you’re a parent, telling me ‘I’m sorry’ is not good enough,” she said. “We have to make sure we are safe here in our own nation.”