(Corine Gatti, Headline USA) Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis declared that the Biden border crisis has wreaked havoc across the United States and he’s not allowing it to destroy the Sunshine State, in a legislative push that could boost his presidential chances against former president Donald Trump.
DeSantis, 44, signed Senate Bill 1718 this month to crack down on the effects of illegal immigration, which is leading to many illegals fleeing the state in a panic before the July 1 deadline, Town Hall reported.
So what you're saying is… the law is working? Good. https://t.co/6Sv2J05MVi
— Christina Pushaw 🐊 🇺🇸 (@ChristinaPushaw) May 24, 2023
“The Biden Border Crisis has wreaked havoc across the United States and has put Americans in danger,” said DeSantis in a statement after signing the bill. “In Florida, we will not stand idly by while the federal government abandons its lawful duties to protect our country.”
Florida has an estimated 772,000 illegal immigrants, according to the Migration Policy Institute. The legislation passed will make using E-Verify mandatory for any employer with 25 or more employees. Additionally, the bill prohibits local governments from issuing identification cards to illegal aliens, according to Axios. It will also repeal a state law that allowed some undocumented immigrants to get a license and practice law in Florida.
According to DeSantis press secretary Jeremy Redfern, the decision was not made on a whim, but in response to the staggering increase in immigrant encounters at the southwest border and the rising drug overdose deaths, reported PolitiFact.
Redfern didn’t buy the argument that the laws are hurting migrants.
“‘Places restrictions on their livelihoods.’ Give me a break,” he tweeted in response to the Axios report. “This ‘woe is me’ nonsense for unlawful behavior is tiring.”
“Places restrictions on their livelihoods.” Give me a break.@GovRonDeSantis is enforcing the laws that @POTUS refuses to enforce, and it appears that enforcing those laws removes the incentive for criminal behavior.
This “woe is me” nonsense for unlawful behavior is tiring. https://t.co/wLFKY2Ma9H
— Jeremy Redfern (@JeremyRedfernFL) May 24, 2023
DeSantis, who announced his 2024 presidential bid on Wednesday, made illegal immigration the centerpiece of his speech, and if he’s winning the war on illegal immigration in Florida, it could aid the second-term governor in the presidential primary, as he trailed 76-year-old Trump in the May polls, according to a May Quinnipiac University poll.
Trump remained at the top of the list of declared or potential candidates with 56% support among Republican and Republican-leaning voters, followed by DeSantis with 25%, according to a Quinnipiac.