Florida population

DeSantis and Moody attack President Biden for “weakening” border control; critics respond harshly


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Governor Ron DeSantis and Attorney General Ashley Moody on Tuesday launched an attack on the border policies of the Biden administration, filing a lawsuit aimed at blocking the release of asylum seekers from the wider American population.

The governor also signed an executive order prohibiting state agencies from cooperating with any federal attempt to settle asylum seekers in Florida while their claims are pending, and appointed Larry Keefe, former U.S. attorney for the district. north Florida, as the new state “Tsar Public Safety.”

DeSantis and Moody are both Republicans for re-election next year, and DeSantis is a possible presidential candidate for 2024. They have also been strong supporters of former President Donald Trump and are seeking a return to US politics. Trump administration, including the deportation of asylum seekers as a matter of public health. risk due to COVID-19.

“The overturning and weakening of our policies has been an open invitation to people all over the world to simply cross the southern border illegally and get a ticket into the interior of the country,” DeSantis said in a statement. press conference. .

“The government is not free to ignore clear orders from Congress,” Moody says in his lawsuit, filed in the Pensacola Division of the US District Court for the North District of Florida.

“He said he did not have the resources and detention capacity to handle the influx of migrants arriving at the border. But the Biden administration has actively sought to eliminate measures that increase its resources and detention capacity, such as migrant protection protocols (also known as the “Mexico waiting policy”), and even called on Congress to reduce the number of detention beds for migrants. at its disposal ”, alleges the complaint.

“Furthermore, it was the flawed policies of the Biden administration that encouraged more migrants to make the dangerous journey to the United States. The government cannot therefore use an alleged lack of resources as an excuse to ignore the mandates of Congress. “

The lawsuit targets the US Department of Homeland Security and Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas; the constituent services of the agency (Customs and Border Protection, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and US Citizenship and Immigration Services) and their officers; and the federal government itself.

Annette Tadeo, a state senator planning to enter the Democratic primary to face DeSantis next year, denounced the executive order. “Aside from the fact that Florida is not a border state,” she said in a written statement, it “further shows this governor’s willingness to fuel hate politics to gain support. of his future presidential ambitions ”.

Taddeo noted that his grandparents immigrated from Italy and his mother came from Colombia.

“Instead of using immigrants as political pawns to score political points with an extremist base in his party, as elected leader, the governor should instead set the tone and example for our state and our country. The governor’s actions and the words used are important and his latest political attitude will negatively affect our state, ”Taddeo said.

Anna Eskamani, a member of the Democratic State House with Iranian parents, also accused the governor of responding to anti-immigrant sentiments.

“Anything Governor Ron DeSantis can do to demonize immigrants, he will. This is yet another crass attempt to distract the public, to grab national conservative headlines and negatively impact the lives of already marginalized people, ”she said in her own written statement. .

“It also ignores the reality that Florida is facing a major workforce crisis and talent shortage – this is not only due to low wages, but also related to our greater need for employment. ‘national immigration reform. Instead of attacking the Biden administration and exploiting the immigrant experience, Governor DeSantis should come up with solutions to meet the needs of our economy while upholding our values ​​as a nation of immigrants.

In fact, President Joe Biden has drawn strong criticism for enforcement efforts against Haitian refugees who have massed on the southwest border. White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki recently said asylum seekers found to be non-deportable are only released after officers collect “fingerprints, photos, phone numbers and an address in the United States, and also performed a background check “.

“And those who don’t report, like anyone in our country without legal status, are likely to be fired by ICE,” Psaki said.

According to a press release from the governor’s office, Keefe’s job is to enforce the DeSantis executive order, which prohibits state agencies from offering “support or resources to, or assisting in any way. that is[ing] the federal government by moving “all foreigners apprehended at the southwest border who do not have legal status under United States immigration laws” to Florida.

It requires state agencies to screen applicants through the federal program of systematic checks on the rights of foreigners, a means of identifying undocumented immigrants. In addition, the ordinance requires the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to attempt to find out the identity of foreigners transported here, their sponsors, and their status.

The State will review the operating licenses of establishments accommodating unaccompanied minors. State agents could stop any plane, bus or other vehicle “reasonably suspected of transporting illegal aliens to Florida from the southwest border.”

The ordinance also directs state agencies to report on the number of such foreigners receiving state services. Companies would be subject to audits to test their compliance with legal citizenship or alien requirements for employees.

DeSantis and Moody complained that the immigrants included drug and human traffickers and sex offenders.

“It is clear that at this point this administration, President Biden, is aiding and abetting criminal cartels. Their criminal activity is only spiraling out of control because we don’t follow the law and treat people, collect the details necessary to collect them and hold them under federal law before we release them, ”Moody said at the meeting. press conference.

DeSantis highlighted a August decision by the U.S. Supreme Court ordering the Biden administration to reinstate a Trump-era policy requiring asylum seekers to stay in Mexico pending resolution of their cases.

Additionally, Moody filed a separate complaint in March alleging that the Biden administration was releasing criminal aliens into the general population.

DeSantis and Moody traveled to the Texas-Mexico border in July to highlight the immigration problem, after the governor sent state police to help patrol the border.

Immigrants told these agents, “We would never have come before Biden. Like, Biden tells us to come, ”the governor said.

“It’s a magnet where they basically designed this to happen,” he said. “Partly they just wanted to overthrow Trump. In part, I think, it was absolutely intentional.

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