Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a new immigration bill into law on Wednesday that cleared the way to fund state transports of migrants.
The new law would make it a crime to knowingly transport migrants into the state who entered the country illegally. requires hospitals to obtain patients’ immigration statuses and authorizes the state to use $12 million to fund the transport of migrants. DeSantis signed the legislation amid an illegal immigration surge at the southern border that’s only expected to worsen after May 11, when Title 42, a Trump-era expulsion order, is set to end. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Border Patrol Migrant Processing Centers Are Already Over Capacity Days Before Trump-Era Policy Ends)
“In February, we were in Jacksonville and we proposed strong legislation to curb illegal immigration, both deterring illegal immigrants from coming into Florida but also holding people accountable within Florida who were involved in illegal immigration. We made that promise, we said we were going to go big and today we deliver on that promise by signing Senate Bill 1718. Even the NYT admitted this is the strongest legislation against illegal immigration anywhere in the country,” DeSantis said during the signing event.
“You have huge problems with Title 42 expiring. Biden’s estimates say that it could be up to 13,000 illegal aliens crossing the border every single day and on that pace, on an annual basis, that would be 4.5 million. That’s roughly the size of Miami-Dade and Broward County combined,” DeSantis said.
DeSantis flew migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard on Sept. 14, drawing backlash from immigration advocates that argued he misled the passengers about their fate. The move also stirred up legal battles from migrants themselves and others representing them.
Before DeSantis signed the bill, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador harshly criticized it, according to Politico.
“Why does [DeSantis] have to take advantage of people’s pain, of migrants’ pain, of people’s need for political gain,” López Obrador said at a press conference, according to Politico. “This is immoral. This is politicking.”
“President López Obrador should be cracking down on the cartels running his country and fueling our deadly opioid epidemic instead of worrying about what we are doing in Florida,” DeSantis told Breitbart.
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