As President Joe Biden's border crisis looks set to intensify with the impending termination of Title 42, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has made a decisive move. On Wednesday, he signed into law the most stringent anti-illegal immigration legislation in the United States, a move seen as a direct countermeasure to federal government policies.
"The Biden Border Crisis has triggered widespread turmoil throughout the United States, posing a severe threat to American citizens," DeSantis declared in a statement. "In Florida, we refuse to be passive spectators as the federal government reneges on its legal obligations to safeguard our country."
The governor further elucidated the intent behind the new law, emphasizing its bold stance against unlawful immigration and its commitment to protect Florida taxpayers from bearing the cost of illegal immigration. The groundbreaking legislation includes the following provisions:
- Employers are mandated to utilize E-Verify to ascertain the employment eligibility of their workers. Failure to comply with this requirement will attract a daily fine of $1,000.
- The licenses of employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants will be suspended. Further, the act of using a counterfeit ID to secure employment will be classified as a felony.
- Penalties for human smuggling will be enhanced. Specifically, knowingly transporting five or more illegal aliens or a single underage illegal alien will be deemed a second-degree felony punishable by a $10,000 fine and a prison sentence of up to 15 years.
- An allocation of $12 million will be made to prolong the Unauthorized Alien Transport Program, which relocates illegal immigrants to sanctuary jurisdictions.
Local governments and NGOs are prohibited from issuing identification documents to illegal aliens. Additionally, all out-of-state driver licenses issued solely to illegal aliens will be invalidated.
- Hospitals are required to gather and report healthcare costs incurred for illegal aliens.
The crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border is slated to escalate dramatically on Thursday following the expiration of Title 42. However, in a surprising twist, the Biden administration reinstated a Trump-era immigration rule earlier this week.
This rule prevents migrants from seeking asylum in the U.S. if they have failed to apply for asylum in other countries they traversed, such as Mexico. Hundreds of asylum officers received training on Tuesday on enforcing this rule in anticipation of Title 42's demise.
This reinstatement, a stark departure from President Joe Biden's campaign pledges, occurs against the backdrop of the administration's protracted failure to curb record-breaking levels of illegal immigration into the U.S.