Thu, Jun 23, 2022 2:24 PM
By Bethany Blankley, The Center Square
Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law prohibiting governmental entities, including state agencies and local governments, from contracting with carriers that “knowingly transport illegal aliens into Florida,” he announced Thursday.
After signing the bill, DeSantis directed the Department of Management Services to immediately begin the rulemaking process to implement the provisions of the new law. He also directed executive agencies to review all current contracts, notify all applicable vendors of requirements of the law, and communicate to any vendors that are currently transporting illegal immigrants into Florida that their contracts will not be renewed or amended unless they comply with Florida law.
“Floridians’ tax dollars should not go to corporations that facilitate the international human smuggling operation encouraged by the Biden administration,” DeSantis said in a statement. Signing SB 1808 into law will “protect our state from the effects of Biden’s Border Crisis,” he said.
SB 1808 prohibits governmental entities, including state agencies, counties, municipalities, and others “from executing, amending, or renewing contracts with a person, firm, or corporation that transports a person into Florida knowing that the person is an illegal alien, unless it is to facilitate the detention, removal, or departure of the person from Florida or the United States.”
It requires all contracts, including grant agreements and economic incentive programs entered into by state, county, local governmental entities with carriers or contracted carriers to include an attestation that the carrier will comply with the law. The law also requires such contracts to be terminated for cause if the carrier violates it.
The law goes into effect Oct. 1, 2022.
DeSantis has been pushing back against what he calls the Biden administration’s “reckless open border policies” that have enabled foreign nationals to enter and remain in the U.S. illegally who then go on to allegedly kill Floridians.
Last October, a Jacksonville father of four was murdered allegedly by a Honduran national who entered the U.S. illegally and reportedly provided false identification to remain in the U.S. as an unaccompanied minor. The federal government, working with nongovernmental organizations and commercial carriers and contractors has been facilitating the housing and transportation of illegal immigrants throughout the country instead of complying with the Remain in Mexico policy or deporting the majority of those who are ineligible to enter the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement failed to verify the Honduran’s true identity and age prior to him being transported to Florida. It wasn’t until the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office got involved that the man’s true identity and age was uncovered.
A few months later, a Dominican national also in the U.S. illegally killed a 25-year-old St. Augustine man and was charged with driving under the influence manslaughter.
In March, a Daytona Beach couple was murdered allegedly by a Haitian man also in the U.S. illegally. He was charged with first-degree murder.
Last month, the first guilty verdict issued in Texas as a result of its border security initiative, Operation Lone Star, was of a man who’d graduated high school in Florida. Brought there illegally by his parents when he was a child, he would later build an extensive criminal history, including a home invasion charge in Florida. He was arrested in Kinney County, Texas, for criminal trespass after he had reentered the U.S. after he’d voluntarily returned to Honduras to avoid deportation after having served jail time in California and Florida. A jury comprised solely of Hispanic jurors reached a unanimous guilty verdict.
Florida will soon have access to $12 million to reroute incoming illegal immigrants north, DeSantis vowed at a recent news conferences, including to Delaware, the home state of President Joe Biden.
“If he sends a caravan [of illegal immigrants] to Florida,” DeSantis said of the president, “we’re rerouting it to places like Delaware and other sanctuary states.”
While the Biden administration maintains the southern border is closed, a record number of people from over 150 countries continues to pour through.
Since Biden took office, more than 3 million people have been encountered/apprehended entering the U.S. illegally from over 150 countries, according to Customs and Border Patrol data. This number doesn't include "gotaways," the term CBP uses to describe those who enter the U.S. illegally and evade capture.
CBP doesn't report the number of gotaways publicly, but former and current Border Patrol agents who've spoken to The Center Square estimate this number is easily more than one million since Biden took office, resulting in more than 4 million people entering or attempting to enter the U.S. illegally in the past 17 months.
That number is greater than the individual populations of 23 U.S. states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.