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DeSantis: ‘Florida got it right and the lockdown states got it wrong’

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Ron DeSantis

Florida gov. Ron DeSantis spoke about his state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday.

“We are stronger as a state and much happier as a people because of this leadership,” DeSantis said. “Florida has lower per capita Covid mortality than the national average and lower than 27 other states. Our unemployment rate is lower than the national average, even though tourism isn’t fully back, and our budget is in great shape.”

“Florida got it right and the lockdown states got it wrong,” DeSantis said to the cheering crowd.

At the end of September, DeSantis moved all of the state into Phase 3 of re-opening, which eliminated COVID-related business closures and capacity limitations.

His order made county-wide mask mandates unenforceable, by eliminating fines associated with them.

In addition, DeSantis issued an order which barred local governments from adopting and enforcing restrictions they saw fit.

Earlier this month, DeSantis slammed the idea of restricting travel to Florida after the Biden administration contemplated domestic travel restrictions to “to prevent the spread of variants that appear to be surging in a number of states.”

“It would be unconstitutional, it would be unwise and it would be unjust,” DeSantis said, vowing that Florida would fight back against any travel restrictions.

More than 1.8 million people have been infected with the coronavirus in Florida and more than 30,000 have died. However, those numbers represent better per capita figures than the United States as a whole.

“Under the leadership of Gov. DeSantis, Florida is a free state where data and science prevail, and residents’ individual liberties are respected and protected. Thanks to the governor’s ongoing commitment during the COVID-19 public health emergency to protect our most vulnerable while safeguarding the right to earn a living and the right to operate a business, the governor has been able to lift Floridians up instead of locking our state down,” DeSantis’s office said in a statement to the Miami Herald.

“While every death resulting from COVID-19 is a tragedy, the data demonstrates that Gov. DeSantis’ leadership prevented the deaths of potentially thousands in our state.”

Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy

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NYC bill trying to repeal ‘sanctuary city’ laws put in place by liberal Mayor Bill de Blasio

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New York lawmakers are introducing a bill this week to undo “sanctuary city” laws approved from 2014-2018 under then-Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat. Council members Robert Holden (D-Queens) and Joe Borelli (R-Staten Island) told The New York Post they’ll introduce the bill Thursday.

Among the laws to be reversed include the prohibiting of the NYPD, and Correction and Probation departments from cooperating with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents unless the cases involve suspected terrorists or serious public safety risks. It would also reverse rules prohibiting city agencies from partnering with ICE to enforce federal immigration laws.

“Sanctuary city laws put all New Yorkers, both immigrants and longtime residents, in danger by preventing the NYPD and DOC from working with ICE,” said Holden, a moderate Dem. “We do not need to import criminals, and only 23 years since 9/11, we have forgotten the deadly consequences of poor interagency communication. We must repeal these laws immediately.”

“Like most things in New York, sanctuary city policy is a social experiment gone off the rails,” said Borelli. “All the problems with these local laws came out during the public-hearing process, but the Council just stepped harder on the gas pedal.”

In February, Mayor Eric Adams called for the rules to be loosened so migrants “suspected” of “serious” crimes could also be turned over to ICE — as they once were under sanctuary city policies implemented as early as 1989 under ex-mayors Ed Koch and Michael Bloomberg.

Among public reasons for the push is the murder of Georgia nursing student Laken Riley.  If it wasn’t for the sanctuary city policies, Riley is among other deaths that could have been prevented if the policies were not in place, Holden and other critics have said.

The 22-year-old was found dead Feb. 22 on the University of Georgia’s campus, six months after her alleged killer Jose Antonio Ibarra, 26, was arrested in Queens and charged with endangering a child.

The Post explains of the case:

The NYPD had no choice but to cut the Venezuelan-born Ibarra loose — instead of turning him over to federal immigration officials — because he didn’t have any major crime convictions.

Council Speaker Adrienne Adams shot down the mayor’s idea just one day later, saying she and the rest of the Council’s progressive Democratic majority wouldn’t be considering any rule changes. The bill introduced this week is also likely to face objections from the Council’s left-wing Democratic majority.

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