DeSantis signs immigration bill to address border crisis
“The Biden Border Crisis has wreaked havoc across the United States and has put Americans in danger,” said Governor Ron DeSantis
May 11, 2023 8:57am
Updated: May 11, 2023 8:57am
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday signed into law an immigration bill to curb undocumented immigration in the state by increasing relocation programs and limiting social services.
“The Biden Border Crisis has wreaked havoc across the United States and has put Americans in danger,” said DeSantis at a bill signing ceremony in Jacksonville.
“In Florida, we will not stand idly by while the federal government abandons its lawful duties to protect our country. The legislation I signed today gives Florida the most ambitious anti-illegal immigration laws in the country, fighting back against reckless federal government policies and ensuring the Florida taxpayers are not footing the bill for illegal immigration,” he added.
Bill 1718 allocates $12 million to the migrant relocation program, which moves migrants from Florida to other states. The DeSantis administration selected three vendors it intends to use for the relocation program, including an aviation company that was used to send migrants to Martha’s Vineyard last year.
Among other measures, the law requires businesses with more than 25 employees to use E-Verify, a federal system that helps determine whether an individual can legally work in the United States. Penalties will be imposed for any employers who hire undocumented migrants, including the suspension or revocation of employer licenses.
Bill 1718 prohibits local governments from issuing identification cards to undocumented migrants and will no longer accept out-of-state driver's licenses for illegal aliens.
The law also requires hospitals that accept Medicaid to include a citizenship question on intake forms and will be required to present a quarterly report to the Agency for Health Care Administration detailing the number of patients admitted under each category of the citizen status.
DeSantis, who is expected to announce his candidacy for the 2024 presidential election in the next weeks, has made immigration one of his key priorities during his time as governor.
The Governor signed the bill one day before the pandemic-era immigration policy Title 42 expires. The end of the policy, which allowed border officials to quickly expel migrants at the border, is expected to cause a surge in migrant crossings.
“We’re bracing for some turbulent times ahead,” DeSantis said. “You’re likely to see it get a lot worse.”