The state of Florida is launching an ad campaign targeting law enforcement officers in Chicagoland.
Billboards will be erected in Chicago and surrounding areas promoting the Florida Law Enforcement Recruitment Bonus Payment Program, which could put $5,000 in the pockets of cops looking to relocate to the Sunshine State.
Why Chicago? Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed legislation making it easier for immigrants to become police officers there.
HB 3751 stipulates “that an individual against whom immigration action has been deferred by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) process is allowed to apply for the position of police officer, deputy sheriff, or special policeman” beginning next year.
“Florida strongly supports law enforcement and has consistently enacted commonsense criminal justice policies to keep our communities safe,” said Gov. Ron DeSantis, in a statement from the Governor’s Office rolling out this initiative.
“We stand behind our citizen officers, and we give them the tools to succeed professionally and personally. Other states deputize non-citizens, enact policies that favor criminals over victims, and work to overtly or covertly defund the police, but not in Florida. I look forward to welcoming the Illinois men and women in blue to the law-and-order state.”
DeSantis has riffed on Chicago frequently in recent months.
“I just look at real estate values in Naples,” DeSantis quipped.
“When those are going up, I know Chicago has done something stupid again and people are fleeing. So that’s what’s happened. They had a horrible run under their Mayor (Lori Lightfoot) and how do they respond? They elect somebody even more left than the current Mayor,” DeSantis said in New Hampshire, referring to the recent election of Brandon Johnson.
“That is not going to work. Crime, I think, has already started to shoot up even above what it was because the attitude is like, you know what, let the inmates run the asylum,” DeSantis continued. “That does not work.”
The Governor has taken his Chicago chiding literally around the world, even warning Japanese businessmen about the city’s problems during his global trip this year.
“Chicago used to be one of the greatest cities in America. It’s had huge problems and there’s really a major need to go a different direction, and they elect someone that’s going to keep going in the same bad direction at an accelerated pace,” DeSantis lamented in Japan.
DeSantis also has criticized the state of Illinois writ large.
“I run into people in Florida, Naples, Fort Myers,” DeSantis said in Iowa. “They will tell me if they’re from Illinois, I mean, you can sense the bitterness about how Illinois is governed. They’re, they’re happy to be in Florida, but they are frustrated.”
DeSantis predicted “refugees” would be Sunshine State-bound after the aforementioned mayoral election.
“We are going to get more refugees as a result of that because it’s like, you know, you see what’s not working and you go even further in that direction. You just wonder, like, what is going on? But there’s no question that, I think, you’re going to continue to see a downward (trend) there,” DeSantis added, predicting “probably more residents” would come to the Sunshine State.
He offered similar comments during a political speech in New Hampshire.
“You have a city going down the tubes and they elect somebody that’s going to put it down the tubes even faster. I can tell you this, Naples property values are going to be going up in the state of Florida,” the Florida Governor told the New Hampshire Republican Party.
He said the same thing to the Heritage Foundation. “They just elected someone even more left. I can tell you, I’m going to see more people moving to Naples as a result of that election. That’s just the way it works.”
The Governor has spoken in Illinois this year, addressing a police union outside of Chicago, and in Peoria, where he made jokes to Republicans about “dead people voting” in his 2022 election, giving him “numbers like out of Chicago.”
Polling of Illinois Republicans, meanwhile, reveals he could use some of those dead people in next year’s Primary. In a survey of Illinois Republican registered voters conducted between Aug. 24 and Aug. 27 by Cor Strategies, DeSantis is 43 points behind Donald Trump, good for a distant second place, with just 10% support.