Yesterday Fox News correspondent Bill Melugin previewed what we can expect when Title 42 border restrictions expire tomorrow:
"Texas Congressman @RepTonyGonzales says the President of Guatemala told him he knows of at least 80,000 predominantly Venezuelan nationals who are making their way to the U.S. border ahead of the drop of Title 42," he tweeted, "and that nobody at the White House would take his calls."
But Florida Republicans are fighting back with sweeping legislation, and giving lawmakers in other state a framework to do the same.
Florida’s sanctions are aimed at removing incentives.
Following the governor’s signature, the law will:
- bar local governments from spending taxpayer dollars on identification cards for people who cannot provide proof of citizenship;
- invalidate a driver’s license issued by another state to someone who cannot prove citizenship;
- require hospitals that accept Medicaid to include a question on intake forms about the patient’s citizenship status;
- remove a provision previously signed into law that allows undocumented law school graduates admission to The Florida Bar;
- increase penalties for human trafficking-related offenses to a second-degree felony; and,
- require anyone in custody of law enforcement who is subject to a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement immigration retainer to submit a DNA sample to a statewide DNA database.
Lawyer, businessman, and Republican strategist Ford O’Connell told Newsmax that they’re all aimed at deterring illegal immigration.
"You have to take away the magnets," he said. Despite some reservations, O’Connell added that "I don’t believe perfection should be the enemy of moving the ball forward."
The federal government has historically worked from a different angle, "to detain people who are here illegally once they’re here . . . deport them in a timely manner," O'Connell noted.
But "because the Biden administration isn’t deporting anyone, nor are they detaining anyone, you might as well be working on the deterrence side."
O’Connell, who is also a regular Newsmax TV contributor, added, "we haven’t had any state-level work on this since Arizona in 2011, back when [then-Gov.] Jan Brewer stuck her finger in the chest of [President] Barack Obama."
However, the Supreme Court struck down most of Arizona’s efforts because they granted the state powers assigned to the federal government.
This is the latest in a spate of new laws making the Sunshine State a conservative mecca, including one banning most abortions after six weeks, and another removing licensing requirements to carry a concealed weapon.
But the Florida immigration bill isn’t without its flaws, according to O’Connell.
"One of the things it does not do is eliminate in-state tuition for illegal immigrants," he said. "Rick Scott signed that into law in, I believe 2014. "Here’s the irony of it. Jeanette Nuñez, who is our lieutenant governor, was a champion of this."
Another bone of contention involves the use of E-Verify by employers to check the immigration status of prospective employees.
O’Connell noted that business leaders have balked at the idea, and "said you should only have E-Verify for companies having 25 employees or more," which has a built-in work-around.
"Does an independent contractor count as an employee, and therefore does the independent contractor have to use E-Verify? And if not, there’s a gaping loophole," he observed.
Nonetheless, this could be a model for other states. O’Connell likened it to Florida’s Parental Rights Act, which legacy media and Democrats inaccurately dubbed the "Don’t Say Gay law."
"For all the hubbub about Disney and everything else, the one thing that happened when we passed that 7-page Parental Rights bill is something like 15 or 17 other states picked it up," he said.
"And I am thinking this could be in a similar format. Maybe they don’t pick up all of it," but even if the adopt part of it, it could start a national movement.
"We have a Republican supermajority in the state legislature and a Republican governor. This is the chance to set policy for the rest of the nation," he said.
Illegal immigration has exploded during the last two years, and nearly nine out of 10 Americans blame the federal government, including 91% of Republicans and 83% of Democrats, according to a recent Trafalgar Group poll.
"I've never seen a poll like this — 87% of the American public blames the federal government for the problem at the border," said Mark Meckler, president of Convention of States Action on the John Solomon Reports podcast.
In fiscal year 2022 Customs and Border Patrol agents encountered more than 2.7 million migrants, most at the southern border, where encounters with immigrants increased 23% in March of this year.
But one person who hates the bill is Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who called it "immoral."
And all things considered, that may be the best argument yet for other states to adopt it.
(A related story may be found here.)
Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to Newsmax. He is also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter. Read Michael Dorstewitz's Reports — More Here.
© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.