Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) took forceful action against the Biden administration on Tuesday, announcing a lawsuit against the administration’s “catch and release” policy and signing an executive order halting state agencies under his jurisdiction from facilitating illegal immigration into the Sunshine State.
Speaking on the “Biden border crisis” from Lee County Sheriff’s Office in Fort Myers, Florida, DeSantis announced a series of actions his administration is taking to push back against the Biden administration’s loose immigration policies.
Florida is taking legal action over the Biden administration’s “unlawful and destructive catch and release policy,” the governor announced, thanking Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody (R) for leading the effort.
“The Biden Administration’s brazen disregard for federal immigration law is jeopardizing the safety and security of our state and nation, all while costing Florida taxpayers,” Moody said in a statement, blasting Biden’s border policy as “lax,” opening the door for “dangerous criminals, human traffickers and drugs traffickers to enter the United States—creating a crisis at the Southern Border like we have never seen”:
Because Biden is not requiring those crossing the border to go through the legally mandated channels, they are coming into our country without being properly processed. The federal government cannot simply ignore federal laws because it does not agree with them politically. The Biden administration must implement the immigration policy required under federal law and we are asking the court to take swift action to reduce the harm caused by Biden’s inaction.”
Today, I joined @GovRonDeSantis to send a strong message to President @JoeBiden: We will not allow your brazen disregard for federal law to continue to jeopardize the safety of Floridians. https://t.co/WNdfVMV4K9 pic.twitter.com/wAyUaz9k1s
— AG Ashley Moody (@AGAshleyMoody) September 28, 2021
Additionally, DeSantis said he is signing an executive order prohibiting state agencies that report to him from “aiding and abetting in any way what the federal government is doing right now, emphasizing the state will not take part in the “lawlessness.”
“We haven’t to my knowledge, but we’re laying the marker down, you know, that this is an absolute red line. We’re not going to do it,” he said.
DeSantis explained the order specifically prohibits agencies from “providing assistance to the feds or any other entity for the transportation of folks who are here illegally into Florida from the southwest border”:
By signing the Biden Border Crisis Executive Order, I am working to hold this administration and the federal government accountable for refusing to enforce the immigration laws of this country. pic.twitter.com/J338gm595Y
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) September 28, 2021
Finally, DeSantis announced the appointment of Larry Keefe, former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, as Public Safety Czar to “ensure the actions directed by the executive order, as well as many other things, are carried out.”
“We are in a situation where we have a disaster on the southern border that’s been apparent for many, many months. We would like to see the prior policies reinstituted,” DeSantis said.
“We’re under no illusion that that’s going to happen, so we’ve got to take every effort we can to make sure we’re protecting the people of Florida, and that’s what we’re doing here today,” he added.