DeSantis’s Immigration Bill Would Nullify Illegal Border-Crossers’ Out-of-State IDs
Legislation proposed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis would invalidate driver’s licenses and state identification cards obtained by illegal immigrants in other states.
The “bold initiative,” according to Florida state Sen. Blaise Ingoglia, would crack down on illegal immigration in the Sunshine State by addressing the issue on multiple fronts, including employment, health care, voting, human smuggling, and out-of-state IDs.
“I believe that this is going to be the largest, most comprehensive, landmark, state-led, anti-illegal immigration bill ever passed in the United States,” the Republican lawmaker told Fox News in an interview published on March 5.
“I believe it should be the blueprint for other states to pass so we can all push back as states on the federal government, the Biden administration, Secretary [Alejandro] Mayorkas, and their open border policies,” said Ingoglia, who is sponsoring the legislation.
Under the new law, employers would be required to verify their employees’ citizenship status, and violations of that requirement would trigger new penalties. Penalties also would be increased for human smuggling, and confirmation of U.S. citizenship and Florida residency would be required for voter registration.
Additionally, any driver’s licenses or state IDs issued in states where illegal immigrants can legally obtain them would be nullified.
“We will not recognize a driver’s license from any state that issues them to illegal immigrants,” Ingoglia said. “Law enforcement will then be told to proceed as if they had no license whatsoever.”
At present, 18 states, plus Washington, allow illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses.
In California, illegal immigrants have had that capability since 2013, but in September 2022, Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, signed a bill allowing all noncitizens to obtain state identification cards, regardless of their ability to drive or provide proof that their presence in the United States is authorized.
The law also eliminates the previous requirement that those “restricted” IDs be marked with a recognizable feature to set them apart.
While Florida doesn’t currently allow the issuance of state IDs or driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, Ingoglia noted that some city and county governments have been able to circumvent the law by paying third-party organizations to issue community identification cards, which illegal immigrants then use to obtain government services.
“It’s stuff like this, plus more, that the state of Florida is looking at doing to really force the federal government to finally fix this problem, which has been festering for about 50 years.”
Another measure in DeSantis’s proposal would require hospitals that receive state Medicaid funds to ask patients upon intake whether they are in the country legally and submit quarterly reports to the state on the number of illegal immigrants who passed through emergency rooms and the costs of their care.
In proposing the bill on Feb. 23, DeSantis said: “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.”