On Friday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis fought back against the idea of transferring illegal immigrants from the southern U.S. border to Broward and Palm Beach counties. DeSantis was reacting to the announcement on Thursday from Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw and Broward Mayor Mark Bogen that U.S. Border Patrol said that two planeloads of immigrants would be transferred to their counties each week, roughly 500 per month to each county.
DeSantis said he was going to communicate with President Trump, according to the Orlando Sentinel, asserting, “Nothing’s concrete. There’s been no migrants brought, released, in Florida. This was not something that came down from the White House. This is something that came out of the agency. Sometimes this stuff happens. Ultimately this is something I’m going to have to talk to the president about. We cannot accommodate in Florida just dumping unlawful migrants into our state. I think it’ll tax our resources, schools and health care, law enforcement, state agencies.”
On May 2, the Florida legislature passed a bill banning sanctuary policies that protect illegal immigrants and required law enforcement to cooperate with federal immigration officials. DeSantis, who supported the bill, said, “We are a stronger state when we protect our residents, foster safe communities and respect the work of law enforcement at every level.” The bill requires “state entities, local governmental entities, and law enforcement agencies to use best efforts to support the enforcement of federal immigration law” and prohibits “restrictions by the entities and agencies on taking certain actions with respect to information regarding a person’s immigration status.” It also authorizes “a law enforcement agency to transport an alien unlawfully present in the United States under certain circumstances.”
On Friday, DeSantis stated, “The disaster that we’re seeing at the border, that is a disaster created by the policies that were enacted by the Congress of the United States.” He added, “Bottom line is it doesn’t matter. South Florida, Central Florida, northeast Florida. [In] Florida, we have a lot of fish to fry in our own state with our own citizens. … And to just be on the hook for things that really are a result of the Congress’ failure, the failed policy of the federal government, that is not acceptable.”
Speaking of the sheriff’s responsibility, DeSantis said, “You can’t be expected to start serving thousands of other folks” from another country.
In February, DeSantis announced he wanted the Florida Department of Corrections to consider Florida participating in a federal immigration program permitting trained officers to ask someone about their immigration status if they were arrested.
DeSantis stated, “What they’re doing is something that is very sensible. They’re not transforming their sheriff’s departments into an immigration agency. But when you have somebody who is in their custody who has done something that they’re going to be held accounted for and they’re not here legally, it makes sense to be able to seamlessly work with the federal authority.”