A bill introduced in the Florida Legislature would impose harsher penalties for felonies committed by previously deported illegal aliens.
Republican Sen. Blaise Ingoglia of Spring Hill introduced Senate Bill 1036 to specifically address the issue of illegal aliens’ criminality and re-entry.
Ingoglia filed the proposal on Dec. 20, according to WUSF-FM in Tampa. It will be considered during the next legislative session, which begins Jan. 9.
Under the bill’s proposed framework, the new penalty hierarchy would apply only to illegal aliens who had been deported for committing a felony.
Previously deported felons who commit a new felony in Florida would face the proposed penalty scheme, according to The Center Square.
Classified degrees of felonies would move up a penalty level: a third-degree felony would receive a second-degree penalty, and a second-degree felony would receive a first-degree penalty.
Second-degree felonies carry a maximum term of 15 years in prison.
First-degree felonies carry a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.
If a deported felon committed a first-degree felony, the felony would be classified as a life felony, which would receive a life sentence.
Ingoglia’s bill also targets transnational criminal organizations and those who assist them.
The bill defines transnational criminal organizations as “an organization that routinely facilitates the international trafficking of drugs, humans, or weapons or the international smuggling of humans.”
Under this portion of the criminal statute, a defendant who committed crimes “for the purpose of benefiting, promoting or furthering the interests of a transnational crime organization” would face increased penalties mirroring the prior section regarding deported felons.
However, this portion of the bill is directed at any criminal perpetrator furthering the interest of transnational criminal organizations, regardless of residency status.
It also includes misdemeanors, widening the scope of crimes beyond felonies designated for harsher sentencing.
Taken together, the two sections of Ingoglia’s bill attempt to address the revolving door of re-entry criminals, some of whom are active in transnational enterprises within our borders.
The level of transnational criminal activity is difficult to track because it operates in the shadows, but statistics from Customs and Border Protection offer a snapshot of what is operating under the surface.
U.S. Rep. Claudia Tenney put the 2021 CBP report on seized fentanyl into a context the American people could grasp: “In Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21), 11,201 pounds of fentanyl were seized by Customs and Border Protection, which is enough to kill every American nearly seven times over,” the New York Republican said in an April 2022 news release.
According to the CBP report for fiscal 2023, more than 27,000 pounds of fentanyl were seized. That number is nearly double the previous year’s total of 14,600.
The trend line is most certainly on a sharp upward trajectory: CBP said fentanyl seizures have increased more than 860 percent just since 2019.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.