State Watch

DeSantis signs bill cracking down on immigration in Florida

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed legislation on Friday that mandates law enforcement agencies in the state overseeing county detention facilities work with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to enforce immigration laws.

The bill requires that those law enforcement agencies “enter into a written agreement with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to participate in the 287(g) program,” according to a press release from DeSantis’ office.

The agreements grant certain local law enforcement officers some immigration enforcement authority, according to the Immigration Legal Resource Center.

The bill also makes it illegal for a government entity to contract with a carrier company if that business is “willfully providing any service in furtherance of transporting” to people whom they know are undocumented in the U.S. unless it is for deportation or detention purposes.

“People will say ‘Well, let Texas worry about that or Arizona or whatever,’” DeSantis, who is considered a possible 2024 GOP presidential contender, said.

“Let me tell you, people coming illegally, a lot of them are trying to get here in the state of Florida, OK? And so this is something that absolutely affects us,” he said.

Republicans have been spotlighting the southern border ahead of this fall’s midterm elections, trying to make the case to voters that President Biden and Democrats have failed at immigration enforcement.

Encounters between migrants and law enforcement at the southern border have risen in the last few months, to roughly 239,000 last month, up from more than 235,000 in April and more than 222,000 in March.

The Biden administration had announced earlier this year that it would be lifting the pandemic-era Title 42 policy, which allows asylum-seekers to be turned away at the border, but a federal judge in Louisiana blocked the move in May. 

DeSantis also signed legislation in 2019 outlawing “sanctuary cities,” municipalities that do not cooperate with immigration enforcement, in the state. 

State Watch