Immigration bill passes at Florida House to be signed by DeSantis

DORAL, FL – Immigration bill SB 1718 passes at Florida House after an 83-36 vote and now is moving towards Gov. DeSantis office to be signed into law.

The purpose of this new legislation is to stop the flow of illegal immigration in the state through several measures in different areas, it includes nearly every requirement, penalty or limit on undocumented immigrants that the governor has advocated for with the exception of an in-state tuition ban for children of immigrants. 

Regarding employment, the immigration bill allows random audits of businesses suspected of hiring undocumented workers and increases criminal penalties for human smuggling. In addition, companies with 25 or more employees are required to use the federal E-Verify system when hiring workers and those who fail to follow this norm could face suspension of their licenses to operate.

Other measure included the package says that local governments will be banned from contributing money to organizations creating identification cards for undocumented immigrants, and driver’s licenses issued to non-citizens will be barred from use in Florida.

In the health care arena, there will also be restrictions and procedures. One is that hospitals receiving state and federal Medicaid reimbursements are to track how much money is spent on undocumented immigrants in emergency rooms.

But the education field is not exempt from this bill.  The new bill repeals a 2014 law that allowed undocumented immigrants to be admitted to practice law in Florida. It was intended by Governor Ron DeSantis to establish a tuition prohibition; he didn’t find the support to include it in the final legislation.

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


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