|LATEST ... Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is planning his first visit to Iowa next week, making a stop in the leadoff Republican voting state before an expected 2024 presidential announcement later this year. Read more here ...|
DeSantis made news in September when he bused illegal aliens to "sanctuary cities" – entities that promote themselves as refuges for those who are in the U.S. illegally. Now the Florida governor has unveiled several new proposals to crack down on the massive influx of illegal aliens and foil what he calls President Joe Biden's "reckless" open-border policies.
In a recent speech, DeSantis made it clear that Florida will continue to prohibit driver's licenses for illegal aliens – a policy he said some local governments are trying to circumvent by funding nonprofits that create identification cards for those individuals. Under the governor's proposal, local governments would no longer be able to use their funds in that fashion – and it would invalidate all out-of-state licenses given to illegal aliens.
Ira Mehlman is media director for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).
"That is something that we see in many, many other places around the country, where you have local governments issuing these so-called government ID cards to identify illegal aliens," Mehlman explains. "So, [Gov. DeSantis] is taking the reasonable steps necessary to deter illegal immigration, at least in Florida. It doesn't help the other 49 states, but right now his responsibility is the State of Florida."
DeSantis also has signed legislation that, in many cases, requires employers to use E-Verify to confirm the legal status of their employees. Mehlman tells AFN that Department of Homeland Security policy concedes that, for the most part, those crossing into the U.S. illegally are doing so for economic reasons.
"[But] if you can't get a job in Florida, at least from Governor DeSantis's point of view you'll move on elsewhere," he adds. "It will be somebody else's problem; but at least it won't be his and the people of Florida's problem."
Then there's the opioid crisis
On Tuesday, a House committee heard testimony from a Michigan mom who lost two sons in 2020 from accidental overdoses of fentanyl. She urged Congress and the White House to take more seriously the flow of the deadly opioid across the border. Mehlman lays the blame at the feet of the Biden administration and its border policies.
"This is a clear and conscious decision on the part of the administration to leave our borders wide open – and the result is that Americans are dying," he argues. "The administration understands this. They know exactly what is happening, but they're … just outright refusing to reclaim control of that border because clearly this is what they want."
Mehlman isn't alone in his accusation. Committee chair Mark Green (R-Tennessee) said during the hearing that "the drug cartels have taken advantage of the situation" brought on by the administration's border policies.