Politico.com's November 26, 2023 Florida grand jury calls for new tax to curb illegal immigration:

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A statewide grand jury put into place by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to investigate migrant-related issues called on state legislators to impose new restrictions on immigration — including a tax on all wire transfers of money overseas.

In a 146-page report released Monday, the grand jury also urged lawmakers to put additional restrictions on businesses, including requiring all employers to check the names of prospective employees against a federal immigration database. DeSantis got legislators to pass a E-Verify mandate earlier this year, but it only applied to private companies with 25 or more employees amid a behind-the-scenes pushback from business lobbyists.

and later:

In the summer of 2022, DeSantis petitioned the Florida Supreme Court to impanel a statewide grand jury to investigate the transport of unaccompanied children and migrants into the state and whether local authorities were refusing to work with federal immigration authorities.

The grand jury, made up of residents from three Republican-leaning counties, has now issued five reports. The latest one was sharply critical of the Biden administration’s handling of immigration while at the same time contended that Florida residents are ignoring the situation. The report estimated that as many as 1 million of Florida’s nearly 23 million residents are in the state illegally.

“We learned that, if anything, many Floridians are (just as we were before undertaking this inquiry) almost dangerously naive and unaware of the true magnitude and malevolence of the illegal immigration industry,” the report states in its introduction.

The constitutionality of a specific tax on remittances (pretty much a tax on the poor) to offset illegal immigration costs can certainly be considered separately; here I'm interested in asking about the "true... malevolence of the illegal immigration industry."

Question: Does the Florida grand jury's report support its assertion of "malevolence" when it comes to the illegal immigration industry?

There are certainly coordinated criminal money-making enterprises here, but starting right off with the assertion of "malevolence" suggests it's being done with intent to do harm to the US and/or to the illegal immigrants. That would be obvious for sex trafficking, but isn't most of the concern of the grand jury the individuals who come for work and a better life? Where is the malevolence which the grand jury asserts exactly?

  • 3
    Opinion based? One could say that breaking the law for profit is malevolent in itself...
    – SJuan76
    Nov 28, 2023 at 11:33

1 Answer 1


Context for the quoted language provides a bit more insight. It says:

The Order empaneling our jury instructs us to focus on those who arrive illegally to our country and thence to our state, those individuals or organizations who assist this enterprise, and certain crimes that might be committed en route to or following arrival in Florida. Our mandate is NOT to rewrite federal immigration policy; rather, it is to explore whether there is criminal activity affecting our State, how it is made possible, and what, if anything, might be done by our state leaders to address it. 1

1 We will focus on illegal immigration, not claims of refugee status, visa admissions, Temporary Protected Status, or other means of entry except to note them in context with the numbers entering or remaining other than lawfully; we also focus on illegal immigration specifically to our country and state, as opposed to generalized worldwide movement.

We felt obligated to investigate sufficiently to determine that we had an accurate picture of the conditions at our nation's southern, northern, and coastal borders which might produce these effects. We learned that, if anything, many Floridians are Gust as we were before undertaking this inquiry) almost dangerously na'ive and unaware of the true magnitude and malevolence of the illegal immigration industry. What we discovered has been at varying times sobering, upsetting, depressing, and the cause of significant outrage

The short answer is that there are most certainly crimes being committed, including by some of our fellow state residents, which abet transnational and local criminal organizations and individuals in their trafficking of people (including and especially children), criminal actors, fraudulent documents, and drugs into our state, extracting money in return.

These crimes are sometimes actually enabled by governmental agencies, policies, and activities; and there are things that can be done about them. We are also convinced that, because the driving forces are largely federal policies, and political incentives seem to not prioritize solving the problems, it will be up to Florida and other states to help themselves, at least in the short term. We herein propose several ways that might happen.

The overall report reads like a Republican party political advocacy paper, rather than a neutral examination of the law and the facts, however, and is prone to dubious analysis and strident statements throughout.

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