News & Politics

DeSantis Freezes Licenses for Florida Daycare Facilities Paid by the Biden Admin to House Illegal Immigrants

AP Photo/Marta Lavandier

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that no licenses will be issued or renewed with respect to any child-care agency that provides services to illegal aliens transported to Florida from outside the state.

In a press conference on Dec. 10, DeSantis announced new rules affecting daycare facilities around the state that would prohibit the issuance or renewal of any license to facilities that house unaccompanied alien minors for resettlement in Florida without a cooperative agreement between state and federal governments. DeSantis proposed this action in response to the Biden administration’s practice of paying daycare providers $500 to $1,400 per day to care for illegal immigrant children who arrived unaccompanied to the United States.

The revised language in the DCF Emergency rule enacts a directive that DeSantis laid out in an Executive Order from Sept. 28, 2021, designed to protect Floridians from the dangerous impacts of the Biden border crisis.

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Under the new emergency rule, the federal government’s resettlement of illegal aliens (unaccompanied minors) from outside Florida does not constitute evidence of need as required for issuance or renewal of a state license for a child-care facility. This means that no licenses will be issued or renewed with respect to any child-care agency that provides services to illegal aliens transported to Florida from outside the state.

The press secretary for Governor DeSantis, Christina Pushaw, told PJ Media in an email:

The Biden Administration is incentivizing our state-licensed childcare facilities to provide for unaccompanied minors – instead of providing care for Florida kids in need. The federal government pays $500-$1400 per bed, per day to operators who take unaccompanied minors. The state simply cannot compete with this rate; Florida uses a more cost-effective method to determine rates for group home providers. The state’s payment is also tied directly to benefit the child, so providers are only paid when services are provided (whereas the federal government pays the same rate per bed, whether or not all those beds are being used). Florida’s average daily rate is $158 for each child served.

Pushaw called the federal government’s payment structure and less restrictive standards “unnecessary and unfair competition” that harms the children of Florida.

“Diverting resources away from kids in need in Florida,” Pushaw said, “to illegal aliens being smuggled here by the Biden Administration for clandestine resettlement does not serve the people of our state.”

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DeSantis made the remarks at a press conference with a wider emphasis on what Florida can do to fight back against Biden’s border crisis and legislative proposals he’s made for the next legislative session that starts Jan. 11. The governor expressed disgust at the clandestine resettlement of illegal immigrants in Florida:

Cue Gov. Ron DeSantis, who plans to deport illegal migrants flown secretly into Florida from the southern border by the Biden administration.

Destination: Delaware, the president’s home state, or Martha’s Vineyard, Barack Obama’s holiday paradise.

“If you sent [them] to Delaware or Martha’s Vineyard, that border would be secure the next day,” DeSantis said Friday.

To that end, he allocated $8 million in last week’s state budget to fly the migrants back to elite Democrat enclaves, including Washington, DC.

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This follows a request by DeSantis in August that the Biden administration cease these practices—a request that remains unanswered:

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis this week wrote to the Biden administration, asking it to stop resettling illegal immigrants in the state of Florida — and to either deport them instead, or send them to a state that supports the “flouting of our immigration laws.”
DeSantis wrote to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, objecting to what he sees as a lack of action by the administration in enforcing immigration law or to “protect Floridians from the continued release of dangerous criminal aliens.”

The full press conference can be viewed here: