Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis presented a proposal to the Florida Legislature that would help counteract the costs of the Biden administration’s open border crisis.
DeSantis is seeking to increase human smuggling penalties, require universal use of E-Verify (an employment eligibility verification program), enhance penalties for false documentation, prohibit local governments from issuing IDs to illegal aliens, invalidate all out-of-state licenses to illegal aliens, require affirmation of U.S. citizenship on voter registrations, prevent illegal aliens from practicing law, and eliminate out-of-state tuition fee waivers for undocumented students.
DeSantis’ proposal would also require that hospitals collect data on the immigration status of patients and the costs to provide care to illegal aliens and regularly report the data to the governor and Legislature.
“Florida is a law and order state, and we won’t turn a blind eye to the dangers of Biden’s border crisis,” said DeSantis. “We will continue to take steps to protect Floridians from reckless federal open border policies.”
Texans for Strong Borders President Chris Russo applauded DeSantis’ actions and questioned Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas Legislature about whether Texas will actually take the lead in this unprecedented border crisis or continue to trail behind Florida.
“For too long, Florida has led and Texas has followed when it comes to dealing with the catastrophes unleashed upon citizens by the Biden Administration,” said Russo. “It is time for Governor Greg Abbott to start a serious push for reforms that will actually stop illegal aliens from crossing into and settling in Texas, and for the legislature to follow suit. Texans have always been leaders, and combating this unprecedented border crisis should be no different.”
“Expanding E-Verify and prohibiting in-state tuition for illegal aliens are two of our top three legislative priorities,” said Russo. TFSB’s first priority is to repel the invasion at the border by compelling Abbott to use the powers of office constitutionally allocated to the governor and secure the state’s sovereign borders himself in the absence of federal action.
DeSantis’ proposal may pressure the Texas Legislature into action—particularly the Texas House, which has been slow-walking the process from the beginning of the session six weeks ago.
State Rep. Matt Shaheen (R–Plano) has filed House Bill 602, which would require political subdivisions of the state to use E-Verify in their hiring processes. HB 602 has been referred to the House Committee on State Affairs.
State Rep. Bryan Slaton (R–Royse City) has filed House Bill 859, which would revoke in-state tuition for illegal aliens. State Rep. Terri Leo-Wilson (R–Galveston) has filed a duplicate version of HB 859 entitled House Bill 1117. Neither piece of legislation has been referred to a House committee for consideration.
Although Operation Lone Star—Abbott’s state border security push—has received billions of dollars in funding, it can only enforce existing laws.
The deadline for lawmakers to file legislation further protecting Texans from the effects of the Biden administration’s border crisis is March 10.
Concerned citizens can use the Texas Scorecard Elected Officials Directory to let their elected officials know what they think about border security.