Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is seeking to block federally funded housing organizations from incentivizing child trafficking promoted by President Joe Biden’s border crisis by stripping their licenses to operate.
The Republican first directed the Florida Department of Children and Families to look into the situation in September, followed by an emergency rule in December that halted issuing and renewing the licenses of organizations that accepted federal money to house unaccompanied migrant children. In September 2021 alone, border officials encountered 14,358 alien minors along the Southern U.S. border.
It wasn’t until last week that the DCF released a permanent rule proposal solidifying the state’s intent to cut off licensing for organizations harboring unaccompanied alien children at the request of the federal government. While the state will continue to participate in refugee resettlement programs with federal agencies, DCF Secretary Shevaun Harris confirmed that Florida “will no longer be complicit” in Biden’s border crisis which funnels more than $66 million to childcare and child-placing agencies in the Sunshine State.
As border apprehensions reach record-breaking highs nearly every month, the Biden administration has been conducting covert “ghost” flights to ship and resettle illegal aliens including minors across the country with little to no transparency or vetting. As a result, federal officials have lost track of almost 40 percent of migrant children who were released from border officials’ custody between January and May of last year.
DeSantis, however, made it clear that he doesn’t want Florida involved with the federal government’s attempts to incentivize illicit practices at the Southern border, including human smuggling, which is often facilitated by drug traffickers and criminal gangs.
“The current [unaccompanied alien children] process smuggles in illegal immigrants from many different countries with no vetting, no transparency, and no consideration for child and public safety,” DeSantis explained last week.
During an event with Cuban Americans who were ushered into Florida under Operation Pedro Pan, a pre-planned mission in the early 1960s designed to rescue unaccompanied minors from the communist regime in Cuba and bring them to the U.S., DeSantis explained that the Biden administration is endangering migrant children by spreading them across the country.
“I just think there’s a lot of bad analogies that get made in modern political discourse. But to equate what’s going on with the Southern border with mass trafficking of humans, illegal entry, drugs, all this other stuff — with operation Pedro Pan, quite frankly, is disgusting. It’s wrong. It is not even close to the same thing,” DeSantis said.
Like many times before, corporate media and leftist activists quickly attacked the Republican based on lies. Among those opposed to the new rule is Catholic Archbishop Thomas Wenski of the Archdiocese of Miami, who accused DeSantis of participating in political theater and lied about the governor’s comments.
“At Governor DeSantis’ Monday meeting with a few former Pedro Pan kids in Miami’s Museum of the Cuban Diaspora, he described any comparison of unaccompanied minors from Cuba in the early 60’s with those from Central America today as ‘disgusting,'” Wenski falsely claimed. “This was a new low in the zero-sum politics of our divisive times. Children are children — and no child should be deemed ‘disgusting’ — especially by a public servant.”
DeSantis, a father to three kids, never said children are “disgusting” but Wenski’s comments fit the Democrat narrative too well for pro-illegal immigration activists to pass up.
The American Business Immigration Coalition Action quickly sprung to action and released a “six-figure buy” radio advertisement using Wenski’s false claims to smear DeSantis.
“‘Disgusting’ is that Gov. DeSantis is trying to benefit himself politically by attacking innocent immigrant children who are only seeking refuge and to top it off, he did it in Miami, Florida’s own Ellis Island,” an English translation of the ad script states.
One thing the archbishop didn’t mention in his now-prolific falsehood about DeSantis was that the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Miami, which he presides over, received millions of dollars from the Biden administration to harbor child migrants.
Financial documents obtained by The Federalist via an open records request indicate that in 2021 alone, CCAM raked in $10,048,439 from the federal government to serve 352 unaccompanied alien children in the state of Florida — more than $28,500 per child.
The reliance on federal funding for cooperation with illegal activity worries some Catholic leaders that the Catholic church is replacing religion with profitable political positions.
As Federalist Senior Editor and devout Catholic Chris Bedford recently wrote:
But more than any other religious group, it is America’s Catholic bishops who lend moral support and cover to the current border situation, and who thunder against any change in the status quo that might possibly mean fewer illegal immigrants and fewer victimized children in tents run by criminal gangs just praying to God to protect them and their mothers.
This is a distinction with meaning: It’s important to separate guilt from responsibility, just as it’s crucial for us to understand what our duty as faithful Catholics is to our country and her people, to our just laws and our future, to our brothers and sisters around the world who are suffering and in distress, and to our salvation.
Despite opposition from some Catholic leaders who profit off of Biden’s lucrative border crisis, the new rule proposed by DeSantis is expected to move forward without issue and stop Florida-based organizations from participating in a system that aids and abets the smuggling of minors.