Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) fired off a letter Thursday, excoriating the Biden administration over their “reckless immigration policies” and demanded the “immediate” end of “unvetted” illegal immigrants being funneled into his state.
If Biden won’t deport the illegals, DeSantis suggested the administration direct them to a different state that supports the “flouting of our immigration laws” — not Florida.
“While Floridians are working to ensure that criminal aliens are not released back into our communities, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) appears to be hard at work resettling ever-larger numbers of illegal aliens who have no lawful status under federal immigration law from the southwest border to Florida,” the governor wrote in the five-page letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. “I ask that DHS immediately cease any further resettlement of illegal aliens in Florida and that the aliens instead be removed from the United States or resettled in states that support the administration’s continued flouting of our immigration laws.”
“Floridians welcome responsible immigration that serves the interests of Florida and the American people, but we cannot abide the lawlessness that your department is aiding and abetting on the southwest border,” DeSantis said.
In a statement about the letter, the Republican further blasted: “President Biden, Vice President (Kamala) Harris, and their administration have refused to fulfill their responsibility to enforce immigration laws enacted by Congress and the resulting influx of unvetted illegal aliens endangers our national security and undermines the socioeconomic wellbeing of hardworking American citizens. Unfortunately, even though the federal government is responsible for immigration enforcement, it is the states who bear the brunt of this administration’s reckless immigration policies.”
“I have been to the border and I observed firsthand the chaos that this administration’s policies have created. To fill the void left by the federal government, Florida deployed its own law enforcement officers to the border, and they’ve (been) told that many of the illegal aliens apprehended there plan to end up in Florida. Floridians welcome responsible immigration that serves the interests of our citizens, but we cannot abide the lawlessness that this administration is aiding and abetting, and frankly encouraging, on the southwest border,” DeSantis elaborated.
The press release noted the following:
- The number of encounters at the southwest border have skyrocketed from 78,417 in January 2021 to 212,672 in July 2021, a 171% increase and the highest in more than 20 years.
- The number of illegal aliens who were issued a notice to appear or order of recognizance and subsequently released by the Border Patrol in July alone was a staggering 59,691, a massive increase from the 1,324 in this category who were released in January. By contrast, in the last full month of the Trump administration, only 17 aliens in this category were released.
DeSantis also requested DHS provide more information about the illegals to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) by September 30, 2021. The press released outlined the following matters:
- the number of illegal aliens resettled in Florida;
- the names and destination of the illegal aliens;
- the number of illegal aliens resettled in Florida who were tested for COVID-19 and the results of such tests;
- the identities of illegal aliens who have criminal records and who have previously entered the U.S. illegally; and
- the number and identity of illegal aliens resettled in Florida who have failed to appear for their removal proceedings.
In the lengthy letter, the governor said he’s “under no illusion” the Biden administration will reverse course but emphasized that “the states, not the federal government, bear the brunt of this administration’s lawless immigration policies.”