Senate passes immigration crackdown over politicization allegations

The Senate voted according to the parties to adopt a law aimed at further combating illegal immigration, a priority for the government. Ron DeSantis.

In a debate that took the Senate to 11 p.m. Thursday, Democrats lambasted the bill (SB 1808) as a useless political movement playing on DeSantis Priorities and “red meat” for the 2022 Session. The measure, carried by Fernandina Beach Republican Sen. Aaron’s Beanwould prevent transportation companies from doing business with Florida if the companies participated in programs transporting people who are illegally in the country into the state.

DeSantis announced the proposal in December after criticizing the president that of Joe Biden immigration policies, including bringing flights to Jacksonville to relocate people he believes were in the country illegally. DeSantis and Bean, whose district includes part of Duval County, said Florida was aware of 78 federally organized early morning flights to Jacksonville.

With his bill, passed 24-15 along party lines, Bean hopes to send a message to the Biden administration to respect federal law and limit the number of immigrants he says are entering the country illegally. country.

“We cannot maintain the numbers. We ask you to act,” Bean told senators. “Maybe other states will join us, and we can all say enough, because we all support the rule of law.”

Bean, who is in his 10th year as a senator, called the thefts “midnight human trafficking programIt’s part of Biden’s “illegal pursuit of an open border policy.” Meanwhile, DeSantis called the trips “underground flights” that his administration only heard about because of leaks from federal officials.

With the changes last approved, the bill would not affect the ability of transportation companies to move unaccompanied minors, persons protected under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or those who have another protected status. The bill labels immigrants not accepted under the Immigration and Nationality Act as “unauthorized aliens.”

Democratic Senator from Orlando Victor Torreswho is of Puerto Rican descent, called the term during a Senate debate.

“I’m sick of hearing aliens talk about my people,” Torres said. “We are not aliens. We do not fall from the sky. We are human beings. We are looking for a better life. Our families are looking for a better life.

In September, a federal judge hit part of the 2019 Sanctuary Cities Act, but Republicans hope the new bill will be another shot at the measure as the decision is appealed. The new legislation would go into effect immediately with DeSantis’ signature.

The bill would also require counties to enter into agreements with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to participate in a local law enforcement officer program to assist in enforcement. immigration laws. Many counties have already entered into such agreements.

The policies are unnecessary and rely on outdated law, Democrats said.

“We know these are my own, completely political wars,” the Democratic senator from Boca Raton said. Tina Polski noted. “Right now we’re just trying to give it to Biden.”

DeSantis’ proposed budget includes $8 million to transport undocumented immigrants out of state. However, neither the House nor the Senate budgets currently reflect this provision.

While the Legislature pushes the provision forward, the bill fails to address DeSantis’ top five proposals for the “Biden border crisis.” The bill does not contemplate strengthening enforcement of E-Verify or requiring private entities that illegally bring immigrants to Florida to compensate the state for “harmful costs to the public.” DeSantis has also called for prisons and courts to collect individuals’ immigration status at the time of their arrest and conviction, but the bill does not go that far with its immigration status reporting provisions.

DeSantis faces re-election in November and is an early frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, a possibility the governor has ruled out. However, the Democratic senator from North Miami Beach. Jason Pizza directly linked the bill to DeSantis and the news network that helped him become one of the nation’s most popular conservative figures.

“It’s a platitude. It was something that happened on Fox News one night and someone had to write something that you had to swallow,” Pizzo said.

In a letter to lawmakers and DeSantis on Wednesday, the head of the Venezuelan-American Coalition for Florida Business Immigration called the bill a direct attack on the Venezuelan community. They worried that many immigrants with Temporary Protected Status would fall for the bill if their work permits were delayed due to backlogs at federal immigration offices.

The bill was made for political reasons, they continued.

“All these people want – our family, our neighbors – is to be able to work to support their families,” they wrote. “It is an outrage that this bill risks undermining their ability to do so, injects instability and uncertainty into their long-term plans.”

In four amendments to Bean’s bill on Wednesday, Democrats tried to narrow the bill by clarifying what kind of immigrants. One measure would have specified that Ukrainian evacuees would be exempt from the provisions. However, Bean insisted that would already be the case.

“Nobody wants to be here. Do you think I want to make the invoice? I wish we didn’t have to do the bill. I want the federal government to step in and protect our border,” Bean told the Senators on Wednesday.

Bean’s bill was then presented to the House, which moved his version (HB 1355) by Republican Representative Stuart. John Snider and could address immigration legislation in the coming days.


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