Florida governor, Ron DeSantis, has described Biden administration plans to ban US domestic travel as ‘contradictory’ to recent US immigration executive orders. The 46th US President recently lifted the Muslim travel ban imposed by Trump, allowing citizens of several Muslim-majority nations to travel to the US, but is reportedly planning a domestic travel ban.
During an exclusive interview with Sunday Morning Futures, Governor DeSantis - a Republican - said: “This stinks to high heaven. It is a huge contradiction and you can’t square wanting opening borders for illegal aliens, but then also restricting US citizens from basically traveling around the country as they see fit and I think the American people see the hypocrisy in that.”
Biden recently signed three executive orders on US immigration, which included plans to create a task force to reunite migrant families separated under controversial Trump-era policies. The task force will reportedly be overseen by First Lady, Jill Biden.
In January, Biden attempted to order a 100-day pause on deportations from the US – prompting thousands of immigrants to head for the US southern border in the hope of gaining entry to the US. However, this was recently blocked by a federal judge.
A recent report published by The New York Times revealed that health officials have ruled people crossing US borders in California must quarantine in a hotel for at least 10 days before they can continue on their journey in the US.
However, according to the same report, volunteers working with migrants in Texas claim that there is no such requirement for people to quarantine if they arrive in the state with no coronavirus symptoms.
According to volunteers, migrants being released by US Border Patrol are boarding buses and traveling to other destinations.
The New York Times report claims that at least 1,000 migrants have been allowed to enter the US through Texas recently. However, this figure is unconfirmed by Border Patrol.
DeSantis said: Of course they’re not being screened for COVID at the southern border because this is all political. Biden is opening the border and he’s letting illegals pour in. They’re not doing any COVID tests. Migrants are just coming into the communities.”
“We have no idea what type of COVID or other things they may be carrying, but yet the President wants to potentially make you take a test if you just get on an airplane and fly from one American city to the next or he wants to prevent travel to the state of Florida,” DeSantis added.
Domestic travel ban rumours
The Florida governor was responding to a report published by the Miami Herald that the Biden administration is weighing up whether to impose restrictions on domestic travel. DeSantis blasted Biden’s reported consideration of such a measure, describing it as ‘unconstitutional’ and a ‘political attack against Florida.’
During a recent press briefing, White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, was pushed for a response concerning a potential domestic travel ban.
She said: “We are always considering what steps are necessary to keep the American people safe, but we are not currently in the process of – no decisions have been made around additional public health measures that would delay or would change, I should say, domestic travel considerations.”
Florida is particularly opposed to any restrictions on domestic travel because of its reliance on tourism. Any travel ban would have severe implications for the state, officials have warned.
However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention pointed out that Florida has the highest recorded number of the new coronavirus variant B.1.1.7 – a strain that is reportedly a highly infectious variant of COVID-19.
The CDC warned that: “New strains of the coronavirus that have emerged could sideline progress made by the vaccine, as the new variants require different treatments and change the effectiveness of current vaccines.”
However, DeSantis highlighted the progress that Florida had made in containing the spread of coronavirus since last summer, when cases surged.
He said: “States that are always held up by people in Biden’s administration, like New York, have way higher per capita patients hospitalized for COVID right now. So there’s no basis in medical, there’s no basis in economics, there’s no basis in reality to do this except to punish a state that is doing it better than what his experts have recommended.”
Biden is a lockdowner, his advisers are lockdowners. Lockdowns don’t work. We’ve demonstrated that. Florida is ‘not turning back’ and the Biden administration will not be able to get away with targeting Florida.”
The Florida governor pointed out that the state’s schools have been open all year.
He said: “Every parent in Florida has the right to send their child to in-person instruction, every worker has a right to work and earn a living and put food on their table and every business has the right to operate and consequently, our state is doing very well compared to these other states in terms of education and economy.”
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