Many elected officials have directed their focus to our southern border, where President Biden’s immigration policies have drawn migrants to the point of crisis. Despite all the focus on border states, other officeholders across the country have raised concerns about the weakening of interior immigration enforcement.
On April 1, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) called on the Biden administration to revoke its executive order that hinders the deportation and removal of most illegal aliens, including many who are charged with or convicted serious offenses.
Governor DeSantis did not mince words when expressing his disapproval with President Biden defying federal immigration law, saying, “Florida will not sit by and watch idly as the federal government sets criminal aliens free and abdicates its legal obligation to enforce immigration law.”
He continued, “I’m calling on President Biden and ICE to take immediate action to detain and remove these dangerous criminal aliens. Too many lives have been lost because immigration officials failed to do their jobs and too many parents have lost children at the hands of criminal aliens who were irresponsibly set free.”
The Florida governor also urged the administration to require Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) to take custody of criminal aliens once they have completed their state prison sentence. Additionally, he demanded that ICE continue to detain and remove alien offenders who are unlawfully present in the United States.
In conjunction with Governor DeSantis’ call to fully restore immigration enforcement at the federal level, he outlined several directives for the Florida Department of Corrections (FDC) secretary to implement in the state. Some of the new measures include transferring known inmates with detainer agreements to ICE as soon as their prison sentence ends. Another policy would notify local law enforcement agencies when unlawful migrants may be released into their jurisdictions. Further, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is required to monitor and report any additional crimes committed by released aliens to federal officials.
Florida’s pivot to intensify its interior enforcement follows state Attorney General Ashley Moody’s legal action against the Biden administration after ICE refused to take custody of several illegal aliens convicted of heinous offenses after their criminal sentences ended.
In a letter sent to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Governor DeSantis pointed out the FDC expects 50 confirmed or suspected aliens will complete their prison sentences in the next 30 days. The number of alien offenders released back into the state could increase by up to 200 in the next six months. President Biden’s current executive action would likely lead to freeing these deportable offenders back into Florida’s communities, where they could commit additional crimes.
President Biden’s refusal to let ICE agents do their jobs has prompted Governor DeSantis to lay out a blueprint for keeping his constituents safe from illegal immigrant crime. More state governments ought to follow Florida’s example of taking the initiative if they want to keep their communities safe from preventable crimes. However, it’s a shame that states are being forced to take action to protect their citizens simply because the federal government refuses to its job.