Florida and Montana have taken steps to prevent either state from becoming a “sanctuary” for illegal immigrants. In Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis has written a letter to the Biden administration demanding that it immediately cease and desist its policy of illicitly setting criminal illegal aliens free in the state. This represents an attempt by the Administration to implement the nationalization of the “sanctuary city” policy.

In the letter, DeSantis takes a strong stand against the policy, pointing out that it jeopardized the health, safety and wellbeing of Floridians.

According to Breitbart News, Tae Johnson, Acting ICE Director, has instructed agents not to pursue illegal aliens in order to arrest and deport them unless they have previously been convicted for committing aggravated felonies against Americans. This policy fails to take into account that the majority of crimes committed by illegal aliens target fellow immigrants.

Under this new policy, around 9 of 10 illegal aliens who would otherwise have been subject to detention and removal will instead be allowed to remain in the U.S. as a reward for breaking the law.

Besides the moral hazard associated with a policy that rewards lawbreaking, this approach also runs counter to studies which have shown that unrestricted immigration harms the social and economic interests of existing citizens.

NumbersUSA, a nonpartisan foundation focused on immigration policy, was founded on the principle that, to benefit society as a whole, governments should focus on implementing policies that enable them to select the right number of authorized immigrants to allow into the country. The Biden Administration’s approach to illegal immigration clearly contravenes this insight.

At a press conference announcing the letter, in addition to demanding that the Biden Administration carry out their lawful duties, Governor DeSantis stated that he would direct that Florida state agencies report to local law enforcement officials on each occasion when a criminal illegal alien is set free in the community’s due to Biden’s destructive policy.

DeSantis was accompanied at the conference by Angel families who have lost loved ones to crimes committed by illegal aliens inside the U.S.

DeSantis termed Biden’s orders a “reckless policy” that abrogated the rule of law. “These are convicted felons who are here illegally, the governor said, “If you can’t remove them, then what do you have? Just a complete lawless system and a complete open border?”

Governor DeSantis issued a mandate to FDLE to provide monthly updates of all criminal illegal aliens whose ICE detainer has been repealed due to Biden’s policy. This includes when an alien’s Florida prison term is done and any further crimes these aliens commit.

These actions by DeSantis come on the heels of a lawsuit filed by Ashley Moody, Florida Attorney General, disputing the legality of the Biden Administration’s sanctuary country policies. Moody described the damage done by these new rules, which have allowed the release, rather than deportation, into Florida of criminal aliens who have been convicted of crimes including grand theft auto, burglary, cocaine trafficking, heroin trafficking, credit card fraud, and money laundering into communities in Florida.

DeSantis stated: “If ICE is not willing to take custody and remove and ICE wants them released into our society, then any additional crime that is committed is, by definition, one that should have been prevented.”

In Montana, Governor Greg Gianforte has signed a bill that restricts sanctuary cities by mandating that all cities in the state remain in compliance with federal immigration law.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Governor Gianforte stated: “We are a nation of laws, and immigration laws will be enforced in Montana.”

According to The Hill, the law requires cities in the state to cooperate with ICE, Customs and Border Patrol and other federal agencies concerning immigration matters and empowers Montana’s attorney general to take civil action against any jurisdictions who refuse to comply.

The law will allow Montana to prevent cities and towns that willfully fail to enforce the nation’s laws, thereby placing the lives of their residents in peril, from receiving grants and other funding.

After former Governor Steve Bullock, a Democrat, vetoed a bill with similar characteristics in 2019, the Montana legislature was eager to pass the legislation with a sympathetic governor in office.  

While Montana does not currently have any sanctuary cities, the passing of this bill is designed to ensure that this remains the case going forward.

About NumbersUSA

NumbersUSA, based in Washington D.C. and Arlington, Virginia, is the largest grassroots organization focused on immigration reduction in the U.S. The nonpartisan group has more than eight million participants including conservatives, liberals and moderates. Its members are encouraged to persuade public officials that the country stands to benefit from reducing immigration numbers toward traditional levels, thereby enabling current and future generations to enjoy a standard of living that isn’t negatively impacted by excessive immigration numbers.