PUNTA GORDA, Fla.—To address what Governor Ron DeSantis called a “brazen disregard for federal immigration law” an executive order was signed and a new public safety czar announced on Tuesday.
DeSantis addressed what he called the “Biden border crisis” with his executive order that prohibits state agencies from providing support for the “resettlement of illegal aliens” in Florida.
The governor initiated the order because he says that illegal immigration is taking its toll on taxpayer dollars and overwhelming state agencies.
“This executive order makes it clear that Florida resources will not be used to prop up the failed open border agenda enacted by this administration,” he said.
The executive order (21-223) addresses several things including directing the Department of Children and Families to refuse to renew licenses to facilities that house unaccompanied minors. Then it asks that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement conduct audits of companies in Florida to verify they do not employ illegal aliens.
The second half of the order requires the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to “lawfully gather information on the number and identities of illegal aliens being transported from the border to Florida.” It also encourages state law enforcement to “detain any vehicle transporting illegal aliens if there is reason, suspicions, it is being used for human or drug trafficking.”
The order additionally requests information from state officials “on the number of illegal aliens who are pending criminal prosecution or have been convicted of a crime.”
To ensure that the executive order is followed, DeSantis named Larry Keefe as public safety czar.
“Larry Keefe was nominated by President Trump in 2018 to serve as the United States attorney for the Northern District of Florida,” wrote DeSantis’ press secretary Christina Punshaw in a statement.
“He resigned in February 2021 after Biden took office. Mr. Keefe was a trial lawyer for more than 30 years, during which he has tried criminal and civil cases in federal and state courts.”
DeSantis told reporters during a press conference that Keefe’s appointment is part of the state’s efforts “to protect Florida taxpayers from bearing the burden of reckless immigration policies.”
“We will continue to hold the federal government accountable for refusing to enforce the immigration laws of this country,” he said.
Keefe will serve to ensure the actions directed by the executive order “are carried out.”
The former U.S. Attorney told the press conference that: “I saw illegal aliens that would get deported and come back, and then get deported and come back in an endless cycle.”
“The states, including Florida, bear the brunt of this cycle. Over the coming weeks and months, our state agencies will be addressing the impacts illegal immigration has had on our state,” he said.
Keefe said if “people are illegally in the state, and they have broken (state) laws” they will be punished.
He also made a promise to law enforcement.
“We will support them (law enforcement) when they are attacked,” Keefe said. “And they will be attacked for trying to do their jobs.”
Lee County Sheriff Carmine Mancino said that people come to Florida for the sun as well as other things.
“But they also know that this is a law-and-order state, we will deliver on our end,” he said.
This all follows a letter that DeSantis sent to the Biden administration on Aug. 26, as was reported by The Epoch Times, asking for a meeting seeking more transparency regarding illegals being resettled in Florida. That letter went unanswered, according to DeSantis, which prompted him to act.