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Gov. DeSantis Is Suing Biden Administration Over Failed Border Policies

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Florida Governor Ron Desantis, who has had enough of President Biden and his entire administration letting chaos rule at the southern border, announced today that the state of Florida is suing the administration over its failed immigration policies.

One day, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas goes to Del Rio, Texas, to say the border is closed. A few days later, he sits down with Fox News’s Chris Wallace and shares that DHS released at least 12,000 of the over 17,000 Haitian migrants into the interior of the United States.  Florida Governor Ron Desantis decided to pick up the reins Border Patrol agents are no longer allowed to use and protect Florida from the crisis.

Today, Governor DeSantis and Attorney General Ashley Moody announced three actions Florida will take to address the endless stream of illegal immigrants flowing over our border. First, Governor DeSantis issued an executive order to prohibit all Florida agencies under his authority from facilitating the transport of illegal immigrants apprehended at the southern border into Florida unless otherwise required by federal or state law. It also demands the collection of information from state officials on the scope and costs of illegal immigration in Florida.

“Since President Biden took office – which has been less than one year — the Border Patrol has released nearly a quarter-million illegal aliens into the United States,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “This executive order makes it clear that Florida resources will not be used to prop up the failed open border agenda enacted by this administration.”

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Reading through the order, the amount of basic information the states do not receive when federal agencies or contractors transport illegal immigrants to them is shocking. Criminal background, migration history such as prior deportations, and even the placement of unaccompanied children are not transparent. As cartel processes get more sophisticated, we know some illegal immigrants have a debt to the international criminal organizations when they arrive. According to Jaeson Jones, CEO of Omni Intelligence, how that gets repaid may include participating in drug and human trafficking.

Second, Governor DeSantis announced the appointment of Larry Keefe, former U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Florida, as public safety czar to ensure that the actions directed by the executive order get carried out. Keefe embraced his new role. “As a former U.S. Attorney, I saw illegal aliens that would get deported and come back, and then get deported and come back in an endless cycle,” he said. “The states, including Florida, bear the brunt of this cycle. Over the coming weeks and months, our state agencies will be addressing the impacts illegal immigration has had on our state. I want to thank Governor DeSantis for appointing me to lead these efforts.”

Governor DeSantis and Attorney General Moody also announced that Florida filed suit against the Biden Administration, challenging its “catch and release” policy. “The Biden Administration’s brazen disregard for federal immigration law is jeopardizing the safety and security of our state and nation, all while costing Florida taxpayers. Biden’s lax border policy is an open invitation to dangerous criminals, human traffickers, and drugs traffickers to enter the United States—creating a crisis at the Southern Border like we have never seen,” said Moody.

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Finally, DeSantis is directing law enforcement to ensure that Florida employers comply with the state’s E-Verify requirements. The order prioritizes companies with over 200 employees whose industry is known for employing illegal labor. Usually, the federal government enforces these employment laws. DeSantis appears determined not to shortchange Florida residents in the employment market or allow employers to undercut prevailing wages with illegal immigrants.

Every Republican governor should use the authority granted by their state constitution to implement similar orders and join Florida in the lawsuit it filed. The border crisis will not get fixed under this administration unless there is unprecedented pressure from the states. According to a recent poll, 70% of voters say the current situation at the border is a crisis. By political affiliation, 79% of Republicans, 60% of unaffiliated voters, and 21% of Democrats rate Biden’s handling of the border as poor. Republican governors and attorneys general are the only ones who will pressure him to fix it.