Gov. Ron DeSantis made it clear Monday night that he's focused on helping the people of Florida and will fight back to stop President Joe Biden's "mass human smuggling operation" of "dumping" migrants in his state.
DeSantis, during an interview on Fox News Channel, said Florida does "not want to facilitate Biden's policies in any way, shape, or form."
One of those policies has been relocating migrants apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border by secretly sending them to other parts of the country.
"The border's obviously a disaster and some people say, 'Well, that's a problem for Texas or Arizona.' Well, actually, the Biden administration puts people on planes and flies them into Florida in the wee hours of the morning," DeSantis, R-Fla., said on Fox News. "They've done over 70 flights in the last six months, dump people here. And we had — a few weeks ago — one of those people that Biden dumped, ended up committing a murder in northeast Florida.
"These are crimes that would not have happened but for Biden’s recklessness. So, our view is, if they’re going to be dumping, we want to be able to facilitate transfers to places like Delaware, and, so, we have $8 million in my new budget to be able to do that."
The governor explained that migrants not only potentially increase the crime rate in an area, they also can contribute to a rise in health care and education costs.
DeSantis said one way to try and stop the "dumping" of migrants is to impose penalties on transport companies that assist the administration.
"We also look to these carriers that the federal government is contracting with," DeSantis told Fox News, "and we are going to pass legislation that says, 'If you are facilitating Biden's policies, which is effectively a mass human smuggling operation, you are not going to be able to do business with the state of Florida or other local governments, and we are going to charge you restitution for each individual that you are bringing."
The governor was asked to react to a Washington Post opinion column posted Monday night entitled, "Ron DeSantis is paving his path to the White House on the backs of vulnerable immigrant children."
"Let's use our resources to help kids who need help in the state of Florida. American kids, Floridians," he said on Fox News. "Let's not be a repository for people coming from all over the world, illegally, through the southern border and then brought to the state of Florida."
DeSantis added, "Focusing on your citizens, I think, is common sense."
DeSantis also addressed mask and COVID-19 vaccine mandates being imposed by Democrat governors in blue states such as California and New York.
"I think we've learned, you give these people an inch they will never let go," he said. "They’re going to take a mile. They are going to restrict. They are going to mandate. They're going to lock you down. And we cannot accept that.
"Obviously, in Florida, we do not accept that. There's no reason to be restricting or mandating anybody throughout our country."
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