JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis said Friday that the state will propose a series of legislative reforms "that will help strengthen Florida's hand in fighting back against" what he called the dangerous border policies of President Joe Biden and his administration.
Speaking at Jacksonville International Airport, DeSantis noted a recent incident in which police said a 24-year-old Honduran immigrant posing as a minor was arrested in the stabbing death of a Jacksonville man.
Although it wasn't known how murder suspect Yery Noel Medina Ulloa made his way to Florida, DeSantis has accused the Biden administration of orchestrating clandestine flights from the U.S.-Mexico border and secretly shipping migrants to the Sunshine State.
Among the many policies DeSantis proposed was strengthening Florida's "sanctuary cities" law and barring contractors "involved in facilitating this type of illegal migration" from doing business with any government entity in Florida.
"We just cannot be doing contracts with companies that are knowingly and recklessly facilitating bringing people here into our state illegally," DeSantis said.
DeSantis said the state will also require any private entities "involved in facilitating illegal migration into Florida" to pay restitution.
"That costs a lot of money for taxpayers in a variety of ways," DeSantis said.
The Republican governor also said Florida will strengthen its "sanctuary cities" law.
"We're going to make sure that if a local jurisdiction is not assisting state law enforcement in our investigation on whether somebody has been brought here illegally, then that constitutes a sanctuary policy," DeSantis said.
DeSantis said he intends to strengthen the state's E-Verify procedures by adding the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity "as an agency eligible to conduct enforcement."
"What we don't want is incentivizing people to be coming to the state illegally," DeSantis said.
The governor went on to say that the federal government has been imposing its policies on states like Florida, "who they love to hate."
DeSantis said it's important that law enforcement knows whether those individuals who have been arrested or convicted of crimes are in the country illegally. That's why, he said, such information will be reflected in court records and reported to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
"We want to know whether they are here illegally," he said. "That matters."
DeSantis was joined by Jacksonville Mayor Lennry Curry, Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams, U.S. Rep. John Rutherford, R-Fla., and Larry Keefe, the state's senior advisor for public safety.