DeSantis Wants You ... to Guard 'Our Borders'

Thursday, April 13, 2023

"Don't bother to examine a folly, ask yourself only what it accomplishes. -- "Ellsworth Toohey" in The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand


Another day, another anti-freedom proposal from Florida's Republican supermajority...

This one would, to put it somewhat charitably, conscript many otherwise productive Floridians for border patrol duty.
There is a fundamental difference between actual freedom and a petty dictator attempting or appearing to "run things" better than a Trump or a Biden. (Image by Tim Mossholder, via Unsplash, license.)
[H]ospitals ... would be required to collect data on the immigration status of patients and to submit it to the state...

The legislation calls for new state penalties to be imposed on employers who hire immigrants without work authorization, and it is drawing opposition from the business community in a state struggling with a labor shortage and where the unemployment rate was 2.6 percent in February.

More than one in five Florida residents are immigrants, an estimated 800,000 of them undocumented, and 722,000 American citizens in the state live in households with one or more undocumented immigrants.

The state is home to a large senior population that relies on care often provided by immigrants, many of them undocumented; its agricultural sector employs many undocumented immigrants; and its tourism industry draws millions of visitors from around the world to Florida beaches, restaurants and theme parks, where service workers are often immigrants. [bold added]
It is notable how little progress conservative thought has made about the subject of immigration in the years since a similar proposal -- mentioned by the report -- in Arizona: In a nutshell, the GOP is using the excuse of the welfare state it is too cowardly to roll back, let alone challenge, to visit even more tyranny on Americans.

As I said back then:
SB 1070 is wrong because it targets illegal immigration when the real problem is the existence of the welfare state. Immigrants did not start socialized education. Immigrants did not force law-abiding emergency care personnel to accept non-paying customers. Immigrants did not make it illegal for some of us to ingest chemicals that others disapprove of. Americans, forgetting that their government was established to protect the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, passed (and support) these laws. Americans chose to plunder each other's pockets and run each other's lives.

America has long benefited from freedom and immigration. She should re-embrace the former, not discourage the latter. Hard-working immigrants will appreciate this, while the lazy and shiftless will stay home.
Governor DeSantis is one of the rare Republicans to still use the word "freedom" to attract votes. Yet he reportedly backs this proposal, which tells me he thinks pandering to the worst elements of his own party is more important than doing his job, which is to protect the individual rights of Floridians.

-- CAV

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