DeSantis: 'Biden Has Failed on Dealing With Illegal Immigration and Rule of Law'

By Susan Jones | April 19, 2021 | 5:15am EDT
A US Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agent prepares to arrest alleged immigration violators. (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)
A US Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agent prepares to arrest alleged immigration violators. (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)

( - Florida's Republican Governor Ron DeSantis said his state is among those suing the Biden administration for its "reckless policy" of refusing to hand over criminal aliens to Immigration and Customs Enforcement after they have served their state prison sentences.

"Biden has failed on dealing with illegal immigration and rule of law," DeSantis told "Sunday Morning Futures" with Maria Bartiromo. "And, unfortunately, Maria when you talk about the issues of releasing convicted criminal aliens into American communities, there's, unfortunately, going to be additional victims. And that is just totally unacceptable."

DeSantis said criminal aliens should be deported once they finish serving time in American prisons:

Normally, when we would have a criminal alien convicted of a felony, they obviously serve their sentence in Florida state prison. And prior to Joe Biden's administration, ICE would take control of them when they finish their sentence, and they'd remove the criminal alien and send them back to their home country.

That should be like clockwork. That is the biggest no-brainer there is. Instead, under Biden's administration, they're no longer honoring these ICE detainers. They're withdrawing the detainers. So, you have a criminal alien that is convicted. Maybe they serve five years in state prison for a serious felony. ICE is effectively releasing them back into our communities.

And we know that some of those people will re-offend. And we also know that any additional offense is, by definition, something that could have been prevented, had they just followed the law. So the lawsuit seeks to have them actually follow the law, follow the Constitution.

Maria, you will hear excuses for why they don't enforce immigration laws in certain instances, oh, prosecutorial discretion, focus on the most threats. These are the most threatening folks. They are criminal convicted aliens. And they're not even doing that.

So you can't just totally default on your responsibility to enforce the law under the Constitution.

DeSantis said many of the criminal aliens will end up in sanctuary cities once they are released.

"Florida, we banned the sanctuary cities. It was the right thing to do. So I think, when folks come illegally, they tend to gravitate towards some of those left-wing sanctuary jurisdictions, because they know they basically will get off scot-free if they're in a sanctuary city."

DeSantis said the lawsuit against the Biden administration is pending in federal district could in Florida.

"And so when we will get an actual decision, it's hard to know because of just the way these things work. But what my hope would be, that we would get an injunction in joining this new policy, basically saying that they have to accept and remove the criminal aliens.

"Now, I'm sure the government will appeal that. But we ought to at least get that started. I think you could save potentially some pretty serious criminal offenses in the future, as long as they're not released into society in the meantime."

The first sentence of the Florida lawsuit filed on March 8 reads:

Within hours of being sworn in, President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., and members of his administration violated their oaths of office, flouted Congressional statutes, failed to protect U.S. citizens and immigrants alike, and created what will quickly become a public-safety nightmare.

The lawsuit says President Biden and his administration are shirking their "non-discretionary duty to detain and remove criminal aliens," using the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse.

"This abdication of duty is resulting and will continue to result in the release of dangerous drug traffickers, violent offenders, and other serious criminals into Florida and the nation’s communities to wreak havoc and victimize anew," the lawsuit states.

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