Gov. DeSantis downplays concerns about worker shortages amid illegal immigration crackdown
Image via EOG/DeSantis Rumble

Desantis sarasota
'The law is that you have to be here legally to be able to be employed.'

If workers aren’t in the United States legally, Gov. Ron DeSantis doesn’t want them working in Florida at all.

That’s the strong message the Governor delivered during remarks in Sarasota.

“In the state of Florida, our laws have been long-standing. They are what they are. And I think that when you’re living by that and enforcing that, I think we’re stronger as a result.”

Asked about potential worker shortages in agriculture and construction, two core sectors in the Sunshine State, DeSantis (who has called previously for the border to be “shut down immediately“) took the side of law and order.

“The law is that you have to be here legally to be able to be employed. That’s been the law for forever. And so when we have something like E-Verify, that’s a tool to make sure that long-standing Florida law is enforced,” DeSantis said.

“You can’t build a strong economy based on illegality.”

Legislation passed in 2023 further enhances the state’s ongoing crackdown on illegal immigration, offering a number of provisions, such as:

— Making driver’s licenses that other states issue for undocumented migrants invalid in Florida.

— Requiring hospitals that get Medicaid funding to collect data on a patient’s immigration status.

— Requiring employers of more than 25 employees to use the E-Verify system to ensure each new employee is in this country legally.

— Upgrading penalties for those employers caught not ensuring that all employees are in the country legally, including suspension of violators’ licenses to operate.

— Criminalizing bringing undocumented immigrants into the state.

— Allocating $12 million for migrants to be relocated forcibly.

DeSantis blames President Joe Biden “and his recklessness of opening the border.”

“You have criminal aliens coming into our country. You have people on the terrorist watch list coming into our country. It’s a total, total disaster. Part of the reason, though, you’re seeing those numbers is because people feel that there are carrots to be able to come, that the U.S. isn’t going to enforce its laws, that states aren’t going to enforce its laws,” DeSantis said.

“There’s people coming from all around the world going through that Mexican-U.S. border,” DeSantis added. “What they’ve basically been told is if you come illegally, you know, you’re going to get like a piece of paper to come to a court date three or four years into the future. So then just go into the interior of our country. How is that serving as a deterrent?”


Anne Geggis of Florida Politics contributed to this report.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Michael K

    May 15, 2023 at 12:43 pm

    Guess he has not been to a senior living facility lately.

    • Dont Say FLA

      May 15, 2023 at 12:48 pm

      He needs to be place into a senior living facility. The old folks home is the most conducive place where his thinking and his ideas might fit in.

  • Dont Say FLA

    May 15, 2023 at 12:47 pm

    Rhonda is correct when he says “You can’t build a strong economy based on illegality.” That is why the GOP wants to keep immigration broken how it is. With an illegal economy, you build an economy where the rich get richer by exploiting illegal workers and them point fingers at the illegal workers saying they’re the reason legal workers can’t find unskilled jobs. That’s how it’s been forever. How people continue to fall for it, that is beyond my understanding. No comprendo. Illegal workers aren’t a problem unless somebody’s hiring them. Period. End of story. Done. Fin.

    • Daniel Pietiers

      May 15, 2023 at 2:09 pm

      This true what you set in your comen

  • Ron Excepted

    May 15, 2023 at 12:52 pm

    Ron DeSantis sure does love employment law. Right up till an employment law applies to him. Then he gets the state legislature to make an exception just for him, the governor that refused to obey the law and Resign to Run, so he had the law changed while talking out the other side of his mouth about employment law being so important. This guy can’t be serious, can he? The irony so think it’s going to break Florida off the continental U.S. and it’ll sink like Iraq or Afghanistan or any other pointless losing war his types have got USA into over the last 50 years.

    • joey

      May 15, 2023 at 8:16 pm

      Best comment lol. Nailed.

  • Alicia Dixon

    May 16, 2023 at 7:54 am

    😱 No way is egomaniacal, fascist DeSantis presidential material. He’s a Trump wannabe
    who’s merely better educated than TFG.

    He’s neither a leader nor a person who can comprehend the interests and needs of a populace as widely diverse as that of America. 🙏

  • just sayin

    May 16, 2023 at 8:46 am

    Either make these people legal or kick them out. Keeping up this shadow workforce that’s easily exploited is ridiculous.

  • Vicki

    May 16, 2023 at 2:34 pm

    He’s a coward. He’s running for president, but too afraid to say it bc trump will bully him better than the Dud can. They’re both cowards. Arfraid of people better than themselves; like woman, smart kids & minorities & anyone with common sense or half a brain that understands their hitler/fascist type of rhetoric used to brainwash the world.

  • Rybro Enterprises inc

    May 17, 2023 at 7:06 pm

    You can say we cannot build an econpmy based on undocumented workers. But get ready for your next hotel room to be cleaaned and ready at 7-8pm, your lawn service to come every 2-3 weeks, your golf course greens that are unplayable and restaurants that cant get your food out of the kitchen for an hour. If they want to make E Verify MANDATORY on a national level then we are all playing on the same field. But for Desantis to do it to Florida only will kill business in the Sunshine State. Companies will leave FL. and new ones wont come as long as they can get the workers in other states.
    Want to fix the problem…..Fix it Nationally

Comments are closed.


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