Governor DeSantis, along with Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody joined together on Tuesday to announce three actions Florida is taking to address what they call the “Biden Border Crisis.”
The three actions include the Biden Border Crisis Executive Order 21-223 (EO 21-223), the appointment of Larry Keefe, former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, as Public Safety Czar to carry out the order, and lastly, a lawsuit that was filed against the Biden administration challenging its “catch and release” policy.
Citing previous lawsuits involving the state of Texas against the Biden administration’s border policy, EO 21-223 briefly highlights the basis for Florida’s lawsuit. It states:
“The Biden administration’s termination of the Migrant Protection Protocol program and its refusal to detain and remove certain criminal aliens have been found by some federal courts to be illegal … ;and Whereas the Biden administration’s policy of apprehending large numbers of illegal aliens at the Southwest Border and then releasing them into the interior of the United States is also illegal.”
“Since President Biden took office – which has been less than one year – the Border Patrol has released nearly a quarter million illegal aliens into the United States,” said Governor Ron DeSantis in a press release from Tuesday. “This executive order makes it clear that Florida resources will not be used to prop up the failed open border agenda enacted by this administration. Attorney General Ashley Moody has also filed a lawsuit against the Biden Administration, challenging its policy of catching and releasing the staggering number of illegal aliens apprehended at the border into the United States.”
He added, “Further, I am proud to appoint Larry Keefe, the former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, to serve as Public Safety Czar as we take key steps to protect Florida taxpayers from bearing the burden of reckless immigration policies. We will continue to hold the federal government accountable for refusing to enforce the immigration laws of this country.”
The press release states that EO 21-223 is designed to “prohibit all Florida agencies under the purview of the Governor from facilitating illegal immigration into Florida, unless otherwise required by federal or state law, and require the collection of information from state officials on the scope and costs of illegal immigration in Florida.”
As stated in EO 21-223, “Except as otherwise required by federal or state law, no Executive Agency under the direction of the Governor shall provide support or resources to, or in any way assist, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, or any other federal department or agency, federal contractor, or non-governmental organization, in transporting to the State of Florida any aliens apprehended at the Southwest Border who do not have lawful status under the immigration laws of the United States.”
Furthermore, the executive order will require agencies that provide resources for immigrants to first verify an immigrant’s eligibility with the utilization of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements program known as “SAVE”, or any successor or similar applicable verification program.
Lastly, EO 21-223 asks the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to use “all lawful investigative means available … to determine the number· and identities of all illegal aliens who have been transported from the Southwest Border to the State of Florida since January 2021 until the effective date of this Executive Order and are believed to remain in Florida.”
The investigative means listed, include, “direct law enforcement requests to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. § 552), or any other lawful means.”
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Casey Owens is a contributing writer for The Florida Capital Star. Follow him on Twitter at @cowensreports. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Ron DeSantis” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0. Background Photo “Border Fence Beach Sunset” by Tony Webster. CC BY 2.0.