Florida Governor Ron DeSantis leveled Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) in a statement this week after AMLO criticized the governor for his strong anti-illegal immigration policies.
AMLO made the remarks on Monday about legislation that DeSantis later signed into law on Wednesday that The New York Times said last month was “the toughest crackdown” on illegal immigration by any state in the U.S.
“Why does [DeSantis] have to take advantage of people’s pain, of migrants’ pain, of people’s need for political gain?” AMLO said during a press conference. “This is immoral. This is politicking.”
“Now I found out that the Florida governor — imagine, Florida, which is full of migrants — is taking repressive, inhumane measures against migrants in Florida because he wants to be a candidate,” AMLO added. “Can’t he not make another proposal to convince people?”
The remarks come as the U.S.-Mexico border is set to be overrun on Thursday by tens of thousands of illegal aliens this week when Title 42 officially ends. Towns in border states have faced overwhelming numbers of illegal aliens for nearly the entire time that President Joe Biden has been in the White House, but in recent weeks these areas have seen a surge to levels that some officials have described as the worst they’ve ever seen.
DeSantis responded to AMLO’s remarks in a statement that slammed the leftist president for the rampant organized crime in his country that is fueling the illegal immigration and drug crises in the U.S.
“President López Obrador should be cracking down on the cartels running his country and fueling our deadly opioid epidemic instead of worrying about what we are doing in Florida,” DeSantis said. “While President Biden may take his cues from leftist foreign leaders, Floridians won’t let their immigration laws be dictated by Mexico City.”
“I’ll never back down from using the full weight of my office to protect the people of Florida by enforcing our immigration laws, and look forward to signing the strongest legislation against illegal immigration in Florida history,” DeSantis added.
🔥🔥 DeSantis hits back at the Mexican President for attacking his anti-illegal immigration bill:
“President López Obrador should be cracking down on the cartels running his country and fueling our deadly opioid epidemic instead of worrying about what we are doing in Florida.…
— DeSantis War Room 🐊 (@DeSantisWarRoom) May 10, 2023
According to the governor’s office, the new illegal immigration crackdown that DeSantis signed into law this week:
- Requires employers to use E-Verify to check the employment eligibility of employees, and fines employers who fail to use E-Verify $1,000 per day.
- Suspends licenses of any employer who knowingly employs illegal aliens, and makes using a fake ID to gain employment a felony.
- Enhances penalties for human smuggling, including making knowingly transporting five or more illegal aliens or a single illegal alien minor a second-degree felony subject to a $10,000 fine and up to 15 years in prison.
- Provides $12 million to continue the Unauthorized Alien Transport Program to relocate illegal immigrants to sanctuary jurisdictions.
- Bans local governments and NGOs from issuing identification documents to illegal aliens and invalidates all out-of-state driver licenses issued exclusively to illegal aliens.
- Requires hospitals to collect and report healthcare costs for illegal aliens.
“The Biden Border Crisis has wreaked havoc across the United States and has put Americans in danger,” DeSantis said in a statement at the signing. “In Florida, we will not stand idly by while the federal government abandons its lawful duties to protect our country.”
“The legislation I signed today gives Florida the most ambitious anti-illegal immigration laws in the country, fighting back against reckless federal government policies and ensuring the Florida taxpayers are not footing the bill for illegal immigration,” he added.