INCENTIVES MATTER: Comparing Illegal Immigration In California Vs. Florida

Written by Wes Walker on May 26, 2023

Through the Pandemic, even Ron DeSantis and Gavin Newsom recognized one another as unofficial flag-bearers — avatars, almost — for red and blue systems of running our country.

Florida and California — and their leaders — are nearly perfect opposites.

Gavin Newsom was recognized as the bleeding-heart liberal who has never met a hard-left idea he wouldn’t find some way to endorse. He’s hellbent on steering his Blue State right over the cliff into one form or another of Socialist Dystopian Hell. And let’s not forget the crime, homelessness and looming government insolvency.

Ron DeSantis, meanwhile, has dedicated himself to turning his formerly purple state into a Republican stronghold. He has long since outpaced Gov Abbott as the left’s most reviled red-state Governor in the Union. So much so that the ACLU is warning about the ‘dangers’ of traveling to Florida even as moving vans are flocking there by the gazillions.

Ron has billed Florida as a state where ‘Woke Goes to die’, and he has delivered meaningful changes to school curricula, including preserving the innocence of younger schoolchildren. He forbade the use State dollars for advancement of DEI agendas, and Doctors are forbidden to block puberty or destroy the healthy sexual tissue of minor children. He has championed school choice where Florida education standards are now #1 in the nation. Aside from all of those things, even the relative crime rates in both States should also offer a huge clue as to the differences.

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What is the one factor central to this article’s comparison between these states?

Where Gavin has declared California a ‘sanctuary state’ for Illegal Immigration, Ron Desantis is openly hostile to anyone entering the country lawlessly. Not only has DeSantis paid to send such people out of Florida, he has helped Border States to enforce border sovereignty while actively making it hard for foreigners to remain unlawfully in Florida.

CNN gives a pearl-clutching summary of what has illegal immigrants in a lather:

Ahead of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ expected presidential bid announcement, he signed a law last week requiring employers with more than 25 employees to check their immigration status using a federal database known as E-Verify. Employers who don’t comply with the law face fines of $1,000 per day until they provide proof that their workers are legal citizens.
Additionally, the law invalidates out-of-state identification cards, such as driver’s licenses, issued to illegal immigrants and prevents Florida-based agencies from issuing new cards. This will prevent people who immigrated illegally to drive a car in the state. People who transport undocumented people living in the United States could face steep fines and possible imprisonment.

Fines and imprisonment? That’s an interesting plot twist, isn’t it?

One more thing — DeSantis has authorized the spending of millions toward transporting Illegal Immigrants OUT of Florida.

Contrary to anything Kamala has said about ‘root causes’ and ‘desperation’ driving foreigners to American shores, Illegal Immigrants in Florida have already clued in that they won’t be getting a red carpet treatment.

How are the illegal aliens responding to this change?

Simple: they’re getting the hell out of Dodge.

“Because of the uncertainty and actions of DeSantis, non-citizens in Florida are looking at other sanctuary cities outside of Florida,” the DHS official told the DCNF.
“A lot of them come here seeking medical benefits and treatments, and with those being difficult to acquire now, a lot of them want to come to states like California, where all those resources are provided,” the DHS official added.
Patricia Andrade, director of Raices Venezolanas Miami, a nongovernmental organization serving Venezuelan immigrants, told DCNF she’s heard from migrants that they fear the use of E-Verify, which is mandatory for many employers in Florida. E-Verify is used by employers to check that job applicants are eligible to work in the country.
“Many are leaving because of E-Verify and some are afraid,” Andrade said.
Roughly 770,000 illegal immigrants live in Florida, according to the Migration Policy Institute.
“We have to leave Florida,” an illegal immigrant living in the Sunshine State for more than a decade told Axios. “I love Florida, I love the weather, I love the people. But I knew we had to leave when I read what was in that law. It isn’t safe.”
— DailyCaller

Where are they headed?

For an answer to that question, we turn to some reporting by FAIR. The Federation for American Immigration Reform tells us:

Many attractive destinations exist for illegal aliens – Massachusetts, Maryland, Oregon, and others. California, however, dwarfs them all with its enormous honeypot of benefits and never-ending commitment to extend even more. Not surprisingly, illegal aliens continue streaming in as if lured by the iconic lyrics to the Beverly Hills theme song, “California is the place you ought to be.”
And why not?

What comes next is a list of several bullet points of policies California has embraced that specifically benefit Illegal Immigrants, from protection from federal immigration enforcement, the ability to work without authorization, driver’s licence, and tuition, the one that really stands out takes us back to something we mentioned earlier.

Finally, thanks to a sweeping bill passed last year, California will now be the first state in America to offer subsidized health care to low-income residents regardless of immigration status. Set to take effect in 2024, the program is estimated to cost $2.7 billion annually. — FAIR

That DHS worker in the Daily Caller quote was onto something when he said: “A lot of them come here seeking medical benefits and treatments, and with those being difficult to acquire now, a lot of them want to come to states like California, where all those resources are provided.”

We can take at least two lessons away from this comparison.

First — even if Biden’s federal government insists on being lawless, a creative red state can find policy solutions that incentivize people to make voluntary behavior changes in line with the laws of the land and the will of the people.

Second — if someone can flag down Kamala we’d love to tell her that we’ve solved that ‘root causes’ question our Border Czar has spent so much time grappling with.

It’s the free stuff, stupid.
If we stop giving it away, they will go look for it somewhere else.

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Sources Cited: