What do the 3 laws enacted by DeSantis against irregular immigration establish?

TALLAHASSEE —Florida Governor Ron DeSantissigned several bills on Friday that increase prison sentences for immigrants without legal status in the United States if they are convicted of driving without a license or committing serious crimes.

DeSantis has frequently criticized President Joe Biden’s administration for its handling of the southern border that has created an unprecedented crisis in the United States, and has sent police officers and members of the Florida National Guard to Texas. The Republican governor, who last month concluded his campaign for his party’s presidential nomination, has also flown immigrants who entered the country illegally through the Texas border to Massachusetts and California.

“We do not tolerate immigration illegal, let alone disorders committed by illegal aliens who shouldn’t be here in the first place. The bills I signed (Friday) further enhance Florida’s law enforcement capabilities,” DeSantis said.

The governor linked the driver’s license bill to a Florida law that already prohibits migrants who are in the country illegally from obtaining that document. Additionally, it increases the maximum sentence for anyone convicted of driving without a license two or more times, from 60 days to one year in jail; This applies equally to US citizens and immigrants who are in the country without authorization.

Criticism of the new laws

Some migrant advocacy groups have criticized the bill, saying it jeopardizes public safety because many of the immigrants who are barred from having a license will continue to drive, simply not be tested or acquire a secure. Nineteen states and Washington, D.C., issue driver’s licenses to immigrants who are in the country illegally, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

“True safety is achieved through comprehensive measures, such as driver education, licensing of all qualified drivers and access to insurance, not through punitive enforcement of the law,” Renata Bozzetto said in a recent statement. , from the Florida Immigrant Coalition. “Instead of criminalizing individuals, Florida’s Republican legislature should work to invest in initiatives that promote driver safety, address disparities in the licensing process, and ensure equitable access to transportation for all residents.” .

Maximum sentences for serious crimes

Another bill increases maximum prison sentences for migrants convicted of committing serious crimes after having previously been deported for entering the country without authorization.

For example, immigrants guilty of low-level crimes, such as simple burglary or auto theft, would face a maximum sentence of 15 years instead of the five-year sentence, which is the maximum term for those crimes. Immigrants convicted of mid-level crimes, such as aggravated assault, would face a maximum sentence of 30 years, rather than the maximum sentence of 15 years normally assigned to such crimes. And migrants who commit top-level crimes, such as armed robbery, could receive life in prison instead of the maximum sentence of 30 years.

The new laws

HB-1451 – Prohibits local governments from issuing driver’s licenses to people who are in the United States irregularly.

HB-1589: Increases penalties for those caught driving without a license.

SB-1036 – Increases sentences for crimes committed by people who illegally reentered the country after deportation.

This week, DeSantis authorized state resources to mobilize more than 250 officers in South Florida to intercept migrant boats.