OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is standing up to the Biden administration’s attempts to resettle illegal immigrants in the state of Florida.
This week, DeSantis wrote to the Biden administration demanding that it stop resettling illegal migrants in the state, and to either deport them or send them to a state that supports the “flouting of our immigration laws.” DeSantis has been one of the most vocal opponents to the Biden administration’s immigration reform efforts, describing them as “failed policies.”
Writing to Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, DeSantis reminded the Biden admin official of a letter he wrote in April “requesting that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) take into custody and ultimately remove all illegal alien felons who have completed their prison sentences in Florida.”
“I further requested that ICE notify the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) as well as local laws enforcement agencies, of such felons released from ICE custody in Florida,” he continued in the letter. “But despite Florida’s added efforts to transport certain illegal alien felons to ICE facilities and monitor those released at your discretion, we have seen no action by your administration to enforce federal immigration laws or protect Floridians from the continued release of dangerous criminal aliens.”
Over 212,000 migrants were encountered on the U.S. southern border in July, while around 95,000, mostly single adults, were removed through the Trump-era Title 42 public health protections law, according to Fox News. Biden has not used the policy to remove unaccompanied children or some migrant families under the order, however.
In addition to Biden’s dismantling of the Migrant Protection Protocols, or the “Remain in Mexico” policy enacted by former president Trump, it means that many migrants continue to be processed and released into the United States, many without notices to appear in court or an ICE office. The Biden administration recently lost a major battle on that front when the Supreme Court declaring that it must reinstate the policy after it was given the order to do so by a federal judge, Conservative Brief reported.
In the letter, the Florida governor cited Border Patrol statistics showing that 59,691 immigrants were issued either a notice to appear in court or were given an order of recognizance in July, and that as of June, 6,254 unaccompanied children were released to local sponsors in Florida this year to date.
DeSantis, who has solidly opposed the Biden administration’s immigration policies, which he blames for the migrant crisis at the border, told Mayorkas not to resettle anyone in Florida.
“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,” he said. “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.”
A spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security told Fox News that the agency’s policy remains that single adults and families be removed under Title 42, and that those whom Mexico refuses to take in are transported to an ICE facility and released with either a notice to show up in court or at an ICE office.
“As part of the process, Border Patrol agents collect biometric and biographic information – fingerprints, photos, phone numbers, and an address in the United States – and run a background check to identify criminals or those who pose a public safety risk,” the spokesperson said, adding that many immigrants are “proactively reaching out to ICE” for processing.
DeSantis wrote that he is “under no illusion” that the Biden administration intends to comply to his demands, but wants to emphasize that “the states, not the federal government, bear the brunt of this administration’s lawless immigration policies.”
In the letter, the governor also requested information about the number of illegal aliens, including unaccompanied children, that were arrested at the border whom the Department of Homeland Security resettled in Florida since January. DeSantis wants their details, whether they have been vaccinated, and if any of them failed to appear for court or ICE proceedings.