Florida passes bill supporting DeSantis’ push for migrant relocation | Migration News
Republican lawmakers create $10 million program to fund the governor’s push, which critics say sees people as ‘pawns’.
Lawmakers in the US state of Florida passed a bill backing Republican Governor Ron DeSantis’ efforts to transporting migrants and asylum seekers into Democratic-controlled areas of the United States, a hit critics have criticized as “indefensible”.
The measure approved on Friday provides $10 million to create a new initiative — dubbed the Unauthorized Alien Transport Program — to fund DeSantis’ plan.
Last year, the governor of Florida – a rising conservative star who is tipped to run for president in 2024 – joined other state leaders of the Republican Party in funding the relocation of asylum seekers to the mainly free areas of the country.
DeSantis still has to sign the bill Friday, allowing his administration to transport migrants from anywhere in the United States, before it becomes law. The measure passed by a vote of 77-34 in the Florida House of Representatives along partisan lines, local media reported.
“This bill is inexcusable,” Democratic Representative Christopher Benjamin said in the state House of Representatives on Friday. “They are people, not chess pieces. Stop playing games with people’s lives.
Last September, DeSantis chartered two flights to ferry dozens of migrants and asylum seekers from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard, an affluent community in northeastern Massachusetts.
Local authorities say migrants arrive without prior notice, sparking outrage and questions about legitimacy of the transfer. The White House denounced the incident at the time as a cruel “political theater”.
Over the past year, the Republican governors of Texas and Arizona have also sent migrant buses to New York City, Chicago and Washington, DC, including dozens of them. was abandoned near the home of Vice President Kamala Harris in December.
While many asylum seekers have made such trips voluntarily, some have speak that they were deceived.
Massachusetts immigration attorney Rachel Self told reporters during flights last year to Martha’s Vineyard that the migrants “were told that there was a surprise gift for them and that there would be jobs and housing waiting for them.” when they come”.
Republicans say the resettlement campaign is aimed at drawing attention to the growing immigration “crisis” at the US southern border, where record numbers of asylum seekers have arrived in the past few weeks. recent months to seek protection.
Conservatives were to blame President Joe Biden for border growth.
“The Legislature finds that the Federal Government has failed to secure the nation’s borders and has allowed large numbers of illegally screened aliens to enter the United States,” bill Friday in Florida write.
The law also states that the program is intended to protect Florida from the “harmful” effects of immigration, including “increased crime, reduced economic opportunity and wages for American workers, and burden on education and health care systems”.
Many independents learn have found that immigration boosts the US economy. Undocumented immigrants are also less likely to break the law than native citizens, data Shows.
DeSantis has been making headlines for implementing far-right policies on issues of national interest, including response to the COVID-19 pandemic, abortion. And education. He is considered the main challenger in the former President by Donald Trump bid for the 2024 Republican nomination.