DeSantis Leads Charge for Crackdown on Illegal Immigration

The Florida governor is pushing the most expansive crackdown on illegal immigration seen by any state in over a decade.

What's happening: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is leading the state’s Republican Legislature to support an ambitious crackdown on illegal immigration. The proposal is the latest in DeSantis’s expansive policy model for conservative states to counter illegal immigration.

The proposal: Senate Bill 1718 makes it a felony for transporting, sheltering, recruiting, or hiring illegal aliens in Florida. It also requires hospitals to ask for and report patients’ immigration statuses to law enforcement officers and would prohibit counties from funding the issuing of ID cards to illegal immigrants. This would counter the movement by 17 states to expand driver's license accessibility to illegal immigrants.

Big picture: Despite no formal announcement, the Florida governor has been posturing for a presidential run in which immigration will play a crucial role. Former President Donald Trump arguably won in 2016 because of his resolute immigration stance—and President Joe Biden is now beginning to take a more moderate position as 2024 approaches. DeSantis is setting his record on the issue. He is expected to sign S.B. 1718 into law in the next few weeks.