DeSantis said he expects the legislation, which takes effect July 1, to "make a big, big difference," noting that with his signature Florida had become the largest state in the nation to make the migrant worker detection system, E-Verify, mandatory.
Under the new legislation, businesses with more than twenty-five employees who knowingly hire illegal migrants could face fines of up to $10,000, and have their licenses revoked. Civilians who assist illegal migrants could also be slapped with felony charges.
Working while undocumented has long been illegal, however in most parts of the country enforcement is nearly impossible. With the new E-Verify system, however, the government is able to keep tabs on employees by comparing I-9 form information provided by an employer with Department of Homeland Security records and the Social Security Administration to "confirm employment eligibility."
The law also requires that hospitals keep track of how many patients are in the country illegally, and prohibits counties from issuing IDs to undocumented migrants.
Those engaged in human trafficking will also face much harsher penalties. Anyone caught smuggling a minor or more than five people into the state will have committed a third-degree felony. The penalty also applies to any trafficker who already has a prior conviction for such a crime.
"People are gonna come if they get benefits," DeSantis explained, "so what you wanna do is say there's not benefits for coming illegally. You're either here as a native, or you come legally, those are two fine things, but to come across the border and end up getting benefits in Florida does not make sense."
He went on to state, "at the end of the day, you wouldn't have the illegal immigration problem if you didn't have a lot of people who were facilitating this in our country."
"In Florida," DeSantis stated, "we're doing it legal and we're doing it right."
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