Miami, FL — Earlier today, Gov. Ron DeSantis and other local elected officials announced a legislative proposal imposing new constraints and penalties on private entities (such as religious organizations and transportation companies) who help process new immigrants, including children, into Florida.
Building on his Executive Order 21-223, the proposal expands on his cruel anti-immigrant policies and political overreach. It is accompanied by the announcement of an unprecedented new rule set by the Department of Children and Families (DCF) that will now prohibit the issuance or renewal of any license to house immigrant children unless there is agreement between the state and federal government.
Micah Kubic, executive director of the ACLU of Florida, responded with the following statement:
“This is another shameful plan by Gov. DeSantis to push more xenophobic policies in Florida, cruelly directed at children and the organizations that provide them critical care.
“With this new proposal and his already enacted Executive Order 21-223, DeSantis seeks to exacerbate family separation by targeting both immigration sponsors and shelters that care for children in dire need. DeSantis’ harmful actions are intended to intimidate and deter Floridians who are willing and eager to help newly arrived immigrants navigating our broken immigration system. Organizations, many of which are faith-based, that have a long-standing history of facilitating placement for immigrant children - a process over which the State of Florida has never had any authority - will now risk losing their ability to do so. Creating roadblocks for licensed shelters and child-centered organizations to provide care only harms children.
“This is another despicable attempt to deflect and distract Floridians from his failed response to issues we care about that impact our communities including public health, housing, and education. Through these new proposals, DeSantis will target and intimidate families of newly arrived immigrants and clearly undermine critical support systems that benefit the entire community. At a time when the majority of Floridians support pathways to citizenship and keeping families together, the Governor is taking actions against those values to inflict more suffering.”