Florida's DeSantis Planning Toughest Statewide Illegal Immigration Crackdown in U.S.

A comprehensive set of measures to combat illegal immigration are currently being considered by the Florida Legislature, spearheaded by Governor Ron DeSantis, that if implemented would amount to the most rigorous clampdown on unauthorized immigration by any state in over ten years.


The legislation, which is expected to pass some time in the next few weeks, has the support of Republican supermajorities in both chambers. According to DeSantis, they are a response to Biden’s “open borders agenda” that has led directly to a humanitarian crisis at the country’s southern border.

If passed, the bills would criminalize acts of harboring, employing, or transporting undocumented immigrants, potentially resulting in felony charges. Additionally, hospitals would be compelled to inquire about patients’ immigration status and report it to the state. Out-of-state driver’s licenses obtained by undocumented immigrants would be nullified, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement would be tasked with aiding federal authorities in the enforcement of the country’s immigration laws.

DeSantis has similarly put forth a separate proposal to abolish the provision of in-state college tuition for undocumented students and DACA beneficiaries who were brought to the U.S. as minors during the Obama administration. This change would repeal a 2014 law enacted by his predecessor, Rick Scott, who is now a serving U.S. senator.

These new measures constitute the most extensive immigration legislation enacted by a state since 2010 when Arizona passed a law mandating that police officers inquire about the immigration status of individuals they stopped if they had reason to suspect that they might be in the country illegally.


“With this legislation, Florida is continuing to crack down on the smuggling of illegal aliens, stopping municipalities from issuing ID cards to people here illegally, and ensuring that employers are hiring American citizens or those here legally,” DeSantis said at a news conference in February. “Florida is a law and order state, and we won’t turn a blind eye to the dangers of Biden’s Border Crisis. We will continue to take steps to protect Floridians from reckless federal open border policies.”

Also supporting the bill is Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Mark Glass, who explained:

Human smuggling, drug trafficking, and a host of other criminal activities are steadily spilling across the Southern Border and into our state, as bad actors seek to exploit the hard-earned wealth and hard-won freedoms of our citizens for criminal gain. In tandem with our continued vigilance and cooperation with our law enforcement partners across the state, the initiatives championed today by Governor DeSantis will help to keep Floridians safer than ever, protecting our citizens from malefactors who are illegally in our state and removing them from our communities altogether.

Following a record 2.5 million migrant apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico border in the past year, Republican leaders and lawmakers have blamed President Biden and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas for losing grip of the situation.


Last year, chartered two private planes to transport Venezuelan migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, a move that sparked fury from left-wing activists and wealthy local residents. In January, the governor declared a state of emergency and deployed the National Guard when boats carrying Cuban and Haitian migrants arrived at the Florida Keys, which also happened in February.

“When Biden continues to ignore his legal responsibilities, we will step in to support our communities,” DeSantis said in January.


Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on RedState Videos