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  1. #1
    Moderator Beezer's Avatar
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    Crackdown on immigration moves ahead – without DeSantis priority

    Crackdown on immigration moves ahead – without DeSantis priority


    John Kennedy
    Mon, April 24, 2023 at 6:23 PM EDT

    Gov. Ron DeSantis continues to press for ban on in-state tuition for undocumented students in Florida

    TALLAHASSEE – Republicans in the Legislature are moving ahead with another of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ top issuesnew, tough sanctions on undocumented migrants in Florida.

    But so far it still lacks a ban on in-state tuition for children of these immigrants – a provision the governor is continuing to demand, as the Legislature enters its scheduled closing two weeks.

    DeSantis is widely expected to announce his campaign soon for the GOP presidential nomination and unveiled his sweeping immigration plan at a February event in Jacksonville where he spoke from a podium bearing a sign, “Biden’s Border Crisis.”

    But except for the in-state tuition ban, almost every other requirement, penalty or limit on undocumented immigrants that DeSantis wants is included in bills nearing the House and Senate floors.

    “We know the federal government is not doing the job,” said Rep. Kiyan Michael, R-Jacksonville, a sponsor of the measure. “We have to do something in the state of Florida."

    But Rep. Dotie Joseph, D-Miami, said the bill brings little clarity.

    “I’m just trying to figure out why the state is interfering with federal immigration enforcement,” Joseph said.

    The legislation (CS/HB 1617) was approved Monday by the House Commerce Committee in a mostly party-line vote. A similar Senate bill (CS/SB 171 is set for its final committee stop Tuesday before the floor.

    DeSantis gets what he wants − almost

    The legislation strengthens employment requirements, allows state law enforcement officials to conduct random audits of businesses suspected of hiring undocumented workers, and increases criminal penalties for human smuggling, which opponents have said they fear could ensnare friends or family members driving a migrant across town.

    Acknowledging that as a potential problem, the House bill has just been rewritten to assure that human smuggling penalties could only apply to those transporting people from outside the country to Florida.

    That slightly eased opponent concerns about Floridians driving an undocumented friend or a child to a church or school activity.

    Still, other provisions trouble immigration advocates.

    Nine years ago, a different GOP: Two Florida Republican governors with different paths on immigration, elections on mind

    Stunt heard round the world: Revisiting DeSantis, Martha's Vineyard, and the migrant flight controversy

    Bill would repeal Bar eligibility; Trailblazing migrant lawyer got his chance from Florida lawmakers. Now, GOP wants door closed

    Local governments would be banned from contributing money to organizations creating identification cards for undocumented immigrants and driver’s licenses issued to non-citizens in other states would be barred from use in Florida, another provision critics say could lead to confusion and law enforcement profiling, especially in a state widely diverse and filled with visitors.

    “No matter how you personally feel about a presidential administration’s competence in this area, efforts to create a separate, competing state-run immigration system impedes the federal government’s ability to do its job,” said Jonathan Webber with the Southern Poverty Law Center.

    “Not only is it inconsistent with federal authority, it’s also hurtful to Floridians,” he added.

    Health care standards raise questions about care

    Hospitals receiving state and federal Medicaid reimbursements would be required to track how much money is spent on undocumented immigrants in emergency rooms. And a 2014 law allowing undocumented immigrants to be admitted to practice law in Florida would be repealed.

    House Speaker Paul Renner, R-Palm Coast, and Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, have both said they’d consider the tuition prohibition. But Passidomo has noted that several current lawmakers were serving in 2014, when the Florida Legislature under then-Gov. Rick Scott extended in-state tuition to undocumented “Dreamers.”

    When the 2014 legislation was approved, it was less than two years after then-President Barack Obama signed the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, intended to protect undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children from removal proceedings and gain work authorization.

    A sponsor of that bill was DeSantis’ lieutenant governor, Jeanette Nunez, then a House member from Miami.

    In-state tuition for these “Dreamers” has been supported by some Republicans and the business community, along with Democrats and immigrant groups who said making higher education more available is better for the overall economy.

    DeSantis sounds unyielding

    DeSantis, though, appears unyielding as the Legislature enters the homestretch.
    “The governor’s position on illegal immigration is clearly outlined in his legislative proposal press conference,” said Jeremy Redfern, a DeSantis spokesman.

    The House bill includes just about everything DeSantis sought. Companies with 25 or more employees would have to use the federal E-Verify system when hiring workers, expanding on a requirement set by the Republican-led Legislature in 2020 that is limited to public employers and contractors, which effectively exempted the state’s powerful agriculture industry.

    The legislation also authorizes spending $12 million for the Division of Emergency Management’s Unauthorized Alien Transport Program, a descendant of the spending allowance DeSantis used last year to transport about 50 mostly Venezuelan asylum-seekers from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard, off the Massachusetts coast.

    “This bill does more harm than it does good,” said Rep. Christopher Benjamin, D-MIami Gardens.

    David Metellus, of the Florida Immigrant Coalition, said, “Immigrants are not taking away from Floridians. They are filling a vital role in our economy.”

    But a co-sponsor of the bill, Rep. Chase Tramont, R-Port Orange, defended the approach.

    “We are a nation of immigrants, but we are also a nation of laws,” Tramont said.

    “The second we allow that reality to simply be reduced to a cliché, that is the second that we begin to lose all semblance of who we are as a country.”

    Tramont also condemned what he called “the epic and dangerous failure of the Biden administration.”

    He said, “I recognize there are concerns with the bill. But I'm here to say, when you have major problems, it takes political courage... to cut off the carrot at the end of the stick that’s actively drawing people here illegally through Biden’s open borders.”

    John Kennedy is a reporter in the USA TODAY Network’s Florida Capital Bureau. He can be reached at, or on Twitter at @JKennedyReport
    This article originally appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: DeSantis immigration priority bill nearing House, Senate floors

    Last edited by Beezer; 04-25-2023 at 07:38 AM.


  2. #2
    Moderator Beezer's Avatar
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    Apr 2016
    Illegal aliens need to be deported with their UACs, period.

    Get them out of our housing, schools, off our roads, and out of our healthcare system!

    Go home, apply for a work permit, wait your turn, pay your way to come legally.

    End birthright citizenship. Their offspring ARE legal citizens of their country. No more U.S. birth certificates, issue a Certificate of Child Born Abroad and no taxpayer funded benefits.
    Scott-in-FL likes this.


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