(The Center Square) — A new bill has been filed in the Florida Legislature that would increase penalties for criminal migrants who reenter the United States illegally.
Senate Bill 1036 was introduced by state Sen. Blaise Ingoglia, R-Spring Hill, ahead of Florida’s legislative session which begins on Jan. 9.
According to the bill, criminal penalties would be increased for migrants who have been previously deported under federal immigration proceedings and then reenter the U.S. illegally only to go on to commit a felony while in the Sunshine State.
If SB 1036 became law, a third-degree felony would become a second-degree one with a maximum term of 15 years in prison.
A second-degree felony would be upgraded to a first-degree felony with a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. Under SB 1036, first-degree felonies would be upgraded to a life felony.
Furthermore, the bill defines a “transnational crime organization” as an organization that “routinely facilitates the international trafficking of drugs, humans, or weapons or the international smuggling of humans.”
Any person charged with an offense to benefit, promote, or further the interests of a transnational crime organization would also face steeper penalties, according to the bill’s text.
“The penalty for any felony or misdemeanor, or for any delinquent act or violation of law” would increase the penalties, with a possible incarceration period of life in prison, depending on the crime committed.
The bill, if signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis, would take effect on Oct. 1.
On Dec. 19, Ingoglia filed a memorial resolution, SM 1020, which calls on the U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken to designate Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations.
According to the measure, these cartels engage in illicit activities, including drug trafficking, human trafficking and human smuggling, money laundering, weapons trafficking, extortion and kidnapping. It further states that cartels claimed responsibility for the armed abduction and killing of American citizens who were traveling in Mexico.
The measure adds that these cartels are behind the export and distribution of wholesale amounts of fentanyl, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and other illegal substances that have contributed to the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans.
It further notes that Customs and Border Protection seized over 27,000 pounds of fentanyl and millions of fentanyl pills, enough to kill the entire population of the U.S. seven times over. Still, it only represents between 10% and 15% of what is making it across the border.