Despite not being located along the U.S.-Mexico border, Florida is creatively addressing illegal immigration, and states would be wise to follow suit as the Biden administration continues to take a wrecking ball to the nation’s southern border security and immigration enforcement apparatus.
Florida has made addressing illegal immigration a top priority, and Governor Ron DeSantis (R) has become the key architect and executer of Florida’s anti-illegal immigration policies. While many of his policy moves are in line with mainstream ideas, DeSantis has led some unconventional initiatives that are making significant impacts. The effectiveness of these policies can be debated, but what can’t be debated is his desire to hold the Biden administration’s feet to the fire.
When apprehension figures at the southern border reached its largest totals ever this summer, Governor DeSantis responded swiftly. He signed legislation that made E-Verify—an online federal program that checks the legal and work authorization of employees—into law. It couldn’t have come at better time as the Biden administration’s “catch and release” policies were sending hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens into the interior, where many ended up in Florida looking to work without authorization and legal status. E-Verify is not federally mandated, which is why DeSantis took matters in his own hands.
During this same period, DeSantis, deployed 50 law enforcement officials and state resources to the southern border to help address the border crisis. The move affirmed that when the federal government fails to protect the southern border (which in effect, is its citizens), states can and should use enumerated state powers to protect the homeland.
But DeSantis didn’t stop here. When it was reported that the Biden administration was secretly flying migrants from the southern border in the middle of the night to states in the interior, the governor signed an “emergency order” that blocked the issuance or renewal of state licenses to Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) facilities that housed illegal alien children from these flights (who, in some cases, may not even be children). This move was made to prevent the Biden administration from sending large numbers of migrants to the state and from taking advantage of limited facilities and resources that are meant for American citizens. The initiative received significant praise from Angel Families, those who have lost loved ones at the hands of illegal aliens.
To further crackdown on the facilitators of the Biden Border Crisis, DeSantis recently announced six legislative proposals that targeted corporations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Combined, these proposals would require these entities to compensate the state of Florida to cover all costs that illegal immigration imposes on taxpayers, improve immigration status data in county and local jails, expand E-Verify, and limit state and local agencies from conducting business with these groups.
And, most recently, in an effort to address Florida’s growing illegal alien population (directly resulting from the Biden administration’s immigration policies), DeSantis allocated $8 million from the state’s budget towards transportation costs that would move illegal aliens out of Florida to locations close to those in charge of the nation’s immigration policies. These include President Biden’s home state of Delaware, and Martha’s Vineyard, a vacation spot often frequented by anti-borders elites.
Even as a non-border state, Governor DeSantis and the state of Florida have made combating illegal immigration a top priority. Florida has set up the framework for states looking to address illegal immigration as the Biden administration continues to leave them in the dust. It would be remiss for states not to follow suit and to not get creative with their policies.