Following Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrado’s (AMLO) criticism of the governor for his tough anti-illegal immigration policies, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis aimed AMLO in a statement this week. AMLO made the statements to The New York Times on Monday about legislation DeSantis recently signed into law. According to AMLO, last month, Florida had “the toughest crackdown” on illegal immigration by any state in the U.S.
AMLO said during a press conference that DeSantis was taking advantage of people’s pain, of migrants’ pain, and that DeSantis was doing so for political gain. AMLO said it was “immoral” and was being done for the stake of “politicking.”
AMLO said he found out that the Florida governor — imagine, Florida, which is full of migrants — is taking repressive, inhumane measures against migrants in Florida because he wants to be a candidate. AMLO believes that DeSantis can convince people to vote for him in a better way.
The remarks come as the U.S.-Mexico border is set to be overrun on Thursday by tens of thousands of illegal aliens this week when Title 42 officially ends. Illegal immigrants have overwhelmed border towns since President Joe Biden took office. Still, in recent weeks these areas have seen a surge to levels that some officials have described as the worst they’ve ever seen.
DeSantis responded to AMLO’s remarks in a statement that slammed the leftist president for the rampant organized crime in his country, fueling the illegal immigration and drug crises in the U.S.
DeSantis said President López Obrador should be cracking down on the cartels running his country and fueling our deadly opioid epidemic instead of worrying about what is happening in Florida. DeSantis also said that while President Biden may take his cues from leftist foreign leaders, Floridians won’t let Mexico City dictate their immigration laws.
DeSantis added that he would never back down from using the full weight of his office to protect the people of Florida by enforcing immigration laws. According to the governor’s office, the new illegal immigration crackdown that DeSantis signed into law this week: Requires employers to use E-Verify to check the employment eligibility of employees and fines employers who fail to use E-Verify $1,000 per day.
Suspends licenses of any employer who knowingly employs illegal migrants and makes using a fake ID to gain employment a felony.
Enhances penalties for human smuggling, including knowingly transporting five or more illegal aliens or a single illegal alien minor, by hitting smugglers with a second-degree felony, which comes with a maximum 15-year prison sentence and a potential fine of $10,000.
Provides $12 million to continue the Unauthorized Alien Transport Program to relocate illegal immigrants to sanctuary jurisdictions.
It Bans local governments and NGOs from issuing identification documents to illegal aliens and invalidates all out-of-state driver licenses issued exclusively to illegal aliens. Lastly, hospitals must collect and report healthcare costs for illegal aliens.
“The Biden Border Crisis has wreaked havoc across the United States and has put Americans in danger,” DeSantis said in a statement at the signing. “In Florida, we will not stand idly by while the federal government abandons its lawful duties to protect our country.”
DeSantis said the legislation he signed today gives Florida the most aggressive anti-illegal immigration laws in the country, fighting reckless federal government policies and preventing taxpayers from footing the bill for illegal immigration.