Florida Bill to Set Up Unauthorized Alien Transport Program Passes First Hurdle

by Andrew Powell


Gov. Ron DeSantis’ proposal to transport foreign nationals out of Florida to sanctuary cities passed a key hurdle in the state Senate on Tuesday.

The Florida Senate Committee on Fiscal Policy approved Senate Bill 6-B by a 14-6 margin that will authorize the state to procure contractors to transport foreign nationals around the United States through a specialized program.

The bill will create the Unauthorized Alien Transport Program which will be part of the Division of Emergency Management. DEM will facilitate the transportation of these foreign nationals and will provide an appropriation of $10 million to run the program.

State Sen. Blaise Ingoglia, R-Spring Hill is the bill’s sponsor. He said the appropriated money will be used for not only flights, but housing, food and essential items for foreign nationals who volunteer to be moved to another location outside of Florida.

“The state of Florida is currently in a state of emergency because of the ineptness and the incompetence of the federal government when it comes to immigration policy,” Ingoglia said. “In fact, I would say that someone should declare the federal government itself a disaster area.”

The foreign nationals will be offered the opportunity to move to a sanctuary city or state that has the resources to better facilitate them, according to Ingoglia.

Ingoglia added that permission will be asked before relocation to avoid violating federal trafficking laws or other federal immigration laws.

“So, what we’re doing here is trying to relieve some of the pressure and some of the strain on taxpayers and the community services here in the state of Florida.” Ingoglia said.

Aurelie Colon from ACLU Florida, opposed the bill and said the Legislature should “prioritize policies that improve the lives and livelihood of all Florida residents,” adding that, “this so-called relocation program is just more anti-immigrant rhetoric that will harm the immigrant community.”

Johnathon Weber from the Southern Poverty Law Center Action Fund urged the committee to reject the bill, and that “the program will inevitably lead to racial profiling.”

Weber also questioned where in the bill it says that an inspected foreign national is able to volunteer to be moved to a new location.

Democrats also opposed the bill.

“This is wrong. It is not becoming of us as a state. It is not becoming of us as human beings, and it’s definitely not becoming of our resources and how we are about to spend taxpayer dollars.” said state Sen. Shevrin D. “Shev” Jones, D-Miami Gardens.

DeSantis signed an executive order in January , to direct law enforcement agencies and other state agencies to take necessary action to protect Floridians from the effects of mass illegal migration.

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Andrew Powell is a contributor to The Center Square. 




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