Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) isn’t backing down from putting the pressure on President Joe Biden and Democrats to properly handle the border crisis as the newly proposed budget included millions in funding to expand the program that flew illegal immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard.
As part of a special session coordinated with the state legislature Friday that began Monday, the introduced legislation considers the creation of the Unauthorized Alien Transport Program within the state’s Department of Transportation. The proposal is just a small piece of the broader $114.8 billion Framework for Freedom Budget laid out for Fiscal Year 2023-2024 and would amount to an additional $12 million in spending on top of the funds reallocated from federal COVID relief dollars.
“The Legislature finds that the U.S. Government has failed to secure the nation’s border and has allowed a surge of unauthorized aliens to enter the United States in violation of the law,” DeSantis’ recommendation read. “This crisis has brought detrimental effects including crime, drug trafficking and smuggling, diminished economic opportunities and wages for American workers, and burdens on the education and healthcare system.”
“The federal government has proven itself unwilling to address this crisis. To mitigate the effects of this crisis on the state of Florida, there is hereby created the Unauthorized Alien Transport Program within the Department of Transportation for the purpose of facilitating the transport of inspected unauthorized aliens, within the United States, consistent with federal law,” he continued.
Leaders of the Republican supermajority in the state House and Senate, House Speaker Paul Renner and Senate President Kathleen Passidomo praised the proposal in their own memos especially as the alien crisis impacted the state with an “influx of migrants landing in the Florida Keys.”
After DeSantis flew 50 Venezuelan migrants to Martha’s Vineyard in September and elites outed themselves as NIMBYs and had the illegals kicked off the exclusive island in a day’s time, a Democratic state senator, Jason Pizzo, had filed suit against DeSantis alleging he had violated state law through his use of funding.
The governor’s proposal appears to be establishing the framework going forward to make the practice unquestionably legitimate as it stated, “The department is authorized to advance and expend funds as necessary to cover all costs associated with facilitating the transport of inspected unauthorized aliens, including, but not limited to the costs of litigation.”
“For purposes of this section, the term ‘inspected unauthorized alien’ means a foreign national who has U.S. Government documentation indicating that the U.S. Government processed and released the foreign national into the United States without admitting the foreign national in accordance with the federal Immigration and Nationality Act,” the proposal continued, further highlighting the negligence of the Biden administration in properly securing the border.
Following the special session, the Florida legislature will officially convene in March to begin its 60-day session and hash out the final version of the budget.
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