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Florida sues Biden Administration over immigration policies

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis holds a news conference at the Lee County Sheriff's Office in Fort Myers on Sept. 28, 2021.jpg
Posted at 7:54 PM, Sep 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-28 21:54:31-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — FORT MYERS, Fla. (WPTV) -- Florida is suing the Biden Administration over what Gov. Ron DeSantis calls the federal government's "unlawful and destructive" catch-and-release policy for people who have entered the United States illegally at the Southern Border.

Speaking at the Lee County Sheriff's Office in Fort Myers on Tuesday, DeSantis said America is dealing with a "total disaster" at the border, created by "disastrous policy choices by President Joe Biden."

DeSantis, in particular, took issue with a Biden Administration policy that allows certain people who've entered the U.S. without legal permission at the Southern Border to be released into U.S. communities.

U.S. Code 1225 contains a "parole authority" clause that allows some to be released into the interior on a "case-by-case basis" when there are "urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit."

DeSantis on Tuesday said the federal government won't reveal how many people who have entered the U.S. illegally have been resettled in Florida, along with whether they have a criminal record.

"It's very clear the open borders is the Biden Administration policy. They want a massive, illegal migration into this country," DeSantis said. "They are farming out people all across communities across the United States, including here in Florida."

In addition to the lawsuit against the Biden Administration, DeSantis on Tuesday signed an executive order which prohibits "all Florida agencies under the purview of the Governor from facilitating illegal immigration into Florida, unless otherwise required by federal or state law."

DeSantis said roughly 250 Florida law enforcement officers were sent to the Southern Border earlier this year to combat smuggling. Over the course of six to eight weeks, those officers were involved in 9,171 "encounters," 311 felony arrests, 79 human smuggling cases, and 43 narcotics cases.

"This is absolutely a crisis. It's a crisis of the administration's own making," DeSantis said. "This continued release of folks on a very mass scale and unprecedented scale will saddle states and local governments with health, financial, economic, and public safety costs."

White House press secretary Jen Psaki was reportedly asked about the lawsuit.

“Any Republican or any member who wants to have a constructive conversation about solutions to addressing what we all agree is not a long-term sustainable operational or moral approach to immigration, we're happy to have that conversation,” Jen Psaki said, according to a quote from ABC News.

This story was first reported by Matt Papaycik on WPTV.com.