Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis slammed President Biden’s immigration policies on “Sunday Morning Futures,” saying he “dismantled” former President Trump’s policies and now there is “a huge catastrophe at the southern border,” which he argued will have “reverberations all across the country.”
He explained during an exclusive interview with Maria Bartiromo that the “catastrophe” started with Biden “dismantling President Trump’s policies to stop the flow of the illegal migrants across the southern border.”
“What Donald Trump did worked,” DeSantis stressed.
“I think from really top to bottom… Biden has failed on dealing with illegal immigration and rule of law,” he added.
President Biden has scrapped a number of former President Trump’s immigration policies, which included construction of the border wall and having asylum seekers remain in Mexico instead of staying in the U.S. while they wait for their cases to be heard.
The moves have led to a record surge in migrants, including unaccompanied minors, that has strained capacity at immigration facilities in recent weeks.
A White House spokesperson did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
“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 told Bartiromo on Sunday.
DeSantis was referencing the lawsuit filed by Florida’s attorney general last month to halt Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) guidance that narrows the illegal immigrants prioritized for arrest and deportation.
The complaint and motion for a preliminary injunction targets recent ICE guidance that would restrict officers to focus on three narrow categories for arrest and deportation: those who pose a threat to national security, those who have crossed the border since Nov. 1, and those who committed “aggravated felonies.”
Administration officials said the guidance does not explicitly prevent anyone from being arrested or deported. Instead, it directs resources at certain targets. However, field officers seeking to arrest someone outside of those three categories would need approval from their chain of command. It is expected to lead to a significant decrease in arrests and deportations.
DeSantis slammed the Biden administration for “no longer honoring ICE detainers,” arguing that “you can’t just totally default on your responsibility to enforce the law under the Constitution.”
DeSantis made the comments while explaining what he called the administration’s “reckless policy” on ICE, which he and Florida’s attorney general are opposing.
“Normally when we 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,” DeSantis said. “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 served five years in state prison for a serious felony, ICE is effectively releasing them back into our communities,” he continued, stressing that “some of those people will reoffend.”
He went on to say that “any additional offense, by definition is 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.”
DeSantis then said, “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,” he stressed. “They are criminal convicted aliens and they’re [the Biden administration is] not even doing that so you cannot totally default on your responsibility to enforce the law under the Constitution.”
The suit alleges that there are multiple instances of ICE refusing to take custody of criminals — including those who served time for burglary and drug trafficking — when they were released from state custody.
DeSantis pointed out that “it is hard to know” when there will be an “actual decision” on the case, but said his hope “is that we would get an injunction in joining this new policy, basically saying that they have to accept and remove the criminal aliens.”
“I’m sure the government will appeal that, but we can at least get that started,” DeSantis said. “I think you could save potentially some pretty serious criminal offenses in the future as long as they’re not released in society in the meantime.”
The lawsuit comes as Arizona and Montana filed a similar suit seeking to block the interim guidance from ICE.