DeSantis Passes Three Laws Targeting Illegal Aliens' Criminal Activity

Recently, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed three new anti-illegal immigration laws targeting undocumented migrants who may be committing criminal acts in the state. These newly enacted laws focus on toughening penalties for crimes committed by individuals who illegally re-enter the country and prohibiting local authorities from accepting identification from illegal immigrants.

Governor DeSantis' actions reflect growing concerns in some communities about the potential impact of illegal immigration on crime rates and public safety. Keep reading to learn more about these new laws and what they mean for undocumented Floridians.

Criminal in handcuffs

Digging Into The New Legislation

Three important bills have been introduced in Florida to combat illegal immigration. These bills, Senate Bill (SB) 1036, House Bill (HB) 1451, and HB 1589, provide the legal framework for addressing some Floridians' concerns about crime related to illegal immigration.

They aim to toughen penalties for criminal acts committed by undocumented immigrants and impose stricter requirements for identification and using E-Verify by employers.

The Role Of Local Governments: Municipalities And Counties

Local governments, such as municipalities and counties, enforce immigration laws. They work with state agencies and authorities to share information about undocumented immigrants and improve the enforcement of existing laws.

This cooperation ensures that any undocumented immigrant involved in criminal activity is identified, penalized, and, if appropriate, reported to federal immigration authorities.

Implications For Undocumented Immigrants

These new laws have serious implications for undocumented immigrants in Florida. They face higher penalties for engaging in criminal activity, with harsher consequences for repeat offenders.

In addition, the mandatory use of E-Verify by employers with 25 or more employees will help identify and deter illegal employment, further underscoring the state's commitment to addressing this problem. The increased involvement of local authorities in immigration enforcement ensures that the state can respond effectively and efficiently to immigration-related offenses.

Provisions Of The New Laws

Under these new laws, the penalties for criminal acts committed by illegal aliens will be significantly harsher. If someone re-enters the country and commits an offense, they will face more severe consequences. For example, driving without a license for two or more offenses can result in a maximum sentence of one year in prison.

This is in contrast to the previous maximum sentence of 60 days. In addition, undocumented immigrants involved in people smuggling may face more severe penalties, sending a clear message that criminal activity will not be tolerated in this state.

Restrictions On IDs And Driver Licenses

The legislation addresses ID policies by prohibiting local governments from accepting IDs issued by foreign consulates to illegal immigrants. This measure is intended to prevent fraudulent identification practices and regulate the use of ID cards in various services and transactions.

Stricter requirements for obtaining ID cards or driver's licenses will be established to ensure that only legal residents can access these official documents.

Employment Verification: Mandatory E-Verify

The new laws will make the use of the E-Verify system mandatory for employers with 25 or more employees to reduce the employment of undocumented workers. This employment verification system will help ensure that only individuals legally authorized to work in the United States are employed.

Employers who hire illegal aliens will face enforceable penalties, further reducing illegal employment practices in the state.

Enforcement And Judicial Process

State and local law enforcement agencies throughout Florida are now tasked with carrying out initiatives against illegal aliens involved in criminal activity. As a result, you may see any of the following changes begin to take place throughout your community:

  • Increased law enforcement presence and operations to pursue criminal activity by illegal aliens.
  • Checking and verifying the legal status of individuals suspected of being involved in criminal activity during interactions with law enforcement.
  • Potential increase in deportation proceedings for criminal offenders.

While these changes may cause concern among some community members, it's essential to understand that the primary goal is to protect every law-abiding citizen.

Judicial Path for Deported Individuals

If a person who is involved in a criminal act is found to be an illegal alien, deportation proceedings will be initiated against them. Here is a brief overview of the court proceedings:

  • Arrest: The individual is taken into custody by law enforcement for a violation of the law.
  • Hearing: The defendant attends a hearing before a judge to determine their legal status and whether they can be deported.
  • Deportation: If the judge determines that the person is an illegal alien who has committed a criminal offense, he issues a deportation order.
  • Appeal: The deported person can appeal against the decision. However, the appeal must be based on legal grounds and does not guarantee that it can reverse the outcome.
  • Removal: If the deportation order is upheld, the person will be deported from the country and returned to their country of origin.

The enactment of these new laws has sparked opposition from various sectors in Florida. Tensions over the state and federal government's responsibilities in enforcing immigration laws are ongoing.

The national perspective on Florida's immigration policy illustrates the diversity of opinion in the United States.

Responses From Immigrant Advocacy Groups

Many immigrant advocacy groups have expressed concern about the new laws signed by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis. They argue that these laws could lead to increased racial profiling and discrimination.

They also point out that several studies have shown that immigrants, both documented and undocumented, are less likely to become criminals than native-born Americans. Nevertheless, the state of Florida has decided to take a stricter stance on illegal immigration.

State vs. Federal Government Tensions

One of the main points of contention in the debate over these new laws is the balance of power between the state and federal governments. Governor DeSantis has criticized the federal government, particularly President Biden's administration, for its failure to secure the southern border, leaving states like Florida on their own to combat illegal immigration.

However, opponents argue that the federal government is primarily responsible for enforcing immigration laws and that states should not enact additional laws that could complicate or undermine those efforts.

National Perspective On Florida's Immigration Policies

As Florida implements its newly signed immigration laws, it's worth examining how its approach compares to other states. California, for example, has adopted a more lenient policy toward undocumented immigrants, granting them benefits such as obtaining a driver's license.

This difference in approach highlights the ongoing debate over immigration policy in the United States and underscores the deep divides between states' attitudes on the issue.

Florida’s new immigration laws also play a part in the larger national conversation being had about illegal immigration. This involves things like the dynamics at the southern border and the ongoing labor shortages in Florida and nationwide.

Future Of Immigration Reforms

The passage of these laws in Florida could signal a broader shift in the immigration landscape in the United States. Other states may consider passing similar laws to tighten regulation of undocumented immigrants and crack down on illegal immigration.

This increased attention to immigration reform could lead to discussions about the future of the immigration system as a whole and the potential impact of these reforms on hospitals, social services, and the economy as a whole.

Speak To A Criminal Lawyer In Florida Today

If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime under Florida’s new laws targeting illegal immigrants, you should speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney at Weinstein Legal Team right away.

Our attorneys will advocate on your behalf and ensure your rights are defended throughout the life of your case.  Click here to schedule a free consultation with an experienced criminal lawyer at Weinstein Legal Team, or give us a call at 888.626.1108 to speak with an attorney right away.


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