Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he is sending a letter to President Joe Biden today asking him to continue the prior policy that allowed authorities to deport illegal immigrants in custody who had committed crimes.
DeSantis told reporters on Thursday that the Biden administration is removing detainers from illegal immigrants. Detainers are “critical for ICE to be able to identify and ultimately remove criminal aliens who are currently in federal, state or local custody.”
“We’ve already had in Florida a handful of criminal aliens that had finished their sentences and the detainers were removed by the Biden administration,” the governor said. “Normally they would have been transferred to federal custody and removed, and now the federal government is effectively releasing them into our communities.”
Speaking at the American Police Hall of Fame and Museum with a line of sheriffs behind him, DeSantis announced that he is directing the state’s department of corrections “to identity all inmates with detainer agreements who ICE is refusing to pick up and develop a process for transferring them to an ICE detention center.”
He also ordered the department of corrections to notify the Florida department of law enforcement and local law enforcement “of all instances in which ICE refuses to detain criminal aliens.” He said he wants everything to be documented.
“If ICE is not willing to take custody and remove … and ICE wants them released into our society, then any additional crime that is committed is by definition one that should have been prevented,” DeSantis told reporters.
“It’s a reckless policy … these are convicted felons. If you can’t remove them then what do you have? Just a complete lawless system? I don’t think any of us want that,” he said.
An ongoing immigration policy tracker by the Heritage Foundation found that Biden has rolled back almost all of former President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.
Under Biden’s immigration agenda, the construction of the U.S.-Mexico border wall was shut down and ICE agents are now limited by narrower guidelines. DHS is also suspending deportations of illegal aliens for 100 days with the exception of those who have “either engaged in or are suspected of terrorism or espionage.”
“Over the next 30 days as many as 50 criminal aliens are set to complete their Florida prison terms subject to detainers by immigration and customs enforcement,” DeSantis said. “That number could rise to over 200 felons within 6 months. The issue is if those detainers continue to be removed—like they are—there’s going to be no basis for the state to hold them at that point.”
“It would effectively be the federal government releasing these convicted criminals back into the society,” he added.
During the press conference, DeSantis invited two families to speak. The first was Jamiel Shaw, Sr. whose son was shot by an illegal immigrant in 2008.
Shaw’s son, also named Jamiel, or “Jas” was shot in Los Angeles by gang member and Mexican national Pedro Espinoza, who had been released from jail a day earlier. Espinoza, a Mexican national, had previously been booked five times as a juvenile but had not been referred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for deportation.
“He was 17 years old, he knew he had a future and he was trying to secure it,” the father said at the conference.
“It’s very important that you get them out of here the very first time they commit a crime,” he said, referring to illegal immigrants.
The second family that spoke at the conference was Kiyan Michael and Bobby Michael. Their son was killed in a car crash by a twice deported illegal immigrant.
Charlotte Cuthbertson contributed to this report
From The Epoch Times