Senate Bill (SB) 1718 has been approved by both chambers of the Florida Legislature, but section 787.07, which had included criminal penalties for transporting undocumented immigrants, has been modified. While the bill had initially proposed attaching criminal penalties to the transport of undocumented immigrants into or within Florida, the approved measure will apply only to the transport of undocumented immigrants across state lines into Florida.
- Five or more separate offenses during a single episode would result in a second-degree felony.
- Governor DeSantis is expected to sign SB 1718; when enacted, the law will take effect on July 1, 2023.
SB 1718 provides that the knowing and willful transport of an adult immigrant whom the transporter knows or reasonably should know to be undocumented will constitute a third-degree felony. Five or more separate offenses during a single episode will constitute a second-degree felony. Transporting undocumented minors into Florida would be deemed a second-degree felony on the first offense.
The legislation is expected to be signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis and take effect on July 1, 2023.
Ogletree Deakins’ Immigration Practice Group will continue to monitor SB 1718 as well as other policy developments and will post updates on the Immigration blog as additional information becomes available. Important information for employers is also available via the firm’s webinar and podcast programs.