PBS and NPR for Southwest Florida
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Governor DeSantis Announces Actions Against Biden Administration’s Immigration Policy

(From left) Florida's new Public Safety Czar Larry Keefe, Attorney General Ashley Moody, Governor Ron DeSantis, Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno and State Attorney for Florida's 20th Judicial Circuit Amira Fox

Governor Ron DeSantis announced a series of actions, Tuesday aimed at mitigating negative impacts of immigrants seeking entry into the U.S. from the Southern border being resettled in the sunshine state. Those actions include a new executive order, a lawsuit against the Biden Administration, and the appointment of a Public Safety Czar.

DeSantis issued Executive Order 21-223, which is being dubbed the “Biden Border Crisis Executive Order”, to prevent state agencies from providing assistance to federal entities resettling unauthorized aliens into Florida.

DeSantis says it also requires the Florida Department of Children and Families to look into whether the state should continue giving licenses to facilities that house unaccompanied minors brought into the U.S. from the southern border.

“Additionally, the order requests state agencies to collect and provide information concerning the impact of illegal immigration in Florida. We want information on the numbers and identities of everyone that’s been resettled from the Southwest border to Florida. We also encourage both FDLE (Florida Department of Law Enforcement) and Florida Highway Patrol to detain vehicles such as buses or aircraft if they’re transporting illegal aliens from the southwest border if there’s reasonable suspicion that the vehicle is being used for human trafficking or drug trafficking,” said DeSantis.

The governor announced the executive order at the Lee County Sheriff’s Office in Fort Myers, alongside Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, who has filed a lawsuit against the Biden Administration for failure to enforce federal immigration law and challenging the administration’s “catch and release” policy.

Early in his presidency, Biden revoked former President Donald Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” executive order, and allows immigrants seeking entry through U.S. Southern border to remain in the U.S. while immigration courts consider their cases.

Federal law requires immigrants, including those seeking asylum, to be detained throughout that process.

Moody said the Biden Administration’s approach is costly to Florida.

“Florida will pay over $100 million in incarcerating folks here illegally who are committing crimes in Florida - over $100 million. Our pleas to this president have gone with no response,” said Moody.

“You heard from the governor. He demanded what was going on. Who are you releasing? What are their criminal backgrounds? Who’s being resettled in our state? So, that we know it’s effects on our state so that we can lead effectively with due regard for the safety and stability of our communities.”

DeSantis also announced the appointment of former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida Larry Keefe as Public Safety Czar to direct implementation of his new executive order.

WGCU is your trusted source for news and information in Southwest Florida. We are a nonprofit public service, and your support is more critical than ever. Keep public media strong and donate now. Thank you.