JOHN DERBYSHIRE: Ron DeSantis Has Criticized Legal Immigration, Why Won't He Campaign On It?
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[Adapted from the latest Radio Derb, now available exclusively on]

See, earlier: FL Governor Ron DeSantis Addresses Mass LEGAL Immigration: “Just The Sheer Number Of People Overwhelms Communities”

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s position on immigration has been getting some news coverage, too—especially since he’s given signs of supporting some tough new laws on illegal aliens that the Florida state legislature is considering [DeSantis Pushes Toughest Immigration Crackdown in the Nation, by Miriam Jordan, NYT, April 10, 2023].

What will these laws do if they come into effect? Well, they’ll:

  • make it felonious to shelter, hire, or transport illegal aliens,
  • require hospitals to ask patients their immigration status and report to the state,
  • invalidate out-of-state driver’s licenses issued to illegals,
  • prevent illegal aliens from being admitted to the bar in Florida, and
  • direct the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to provide assistance to federal authorities in enforcing our nation’s immigration laws.

They may also—it’s not been definitely decided yet—eliminate in-state college tuition for illegal-alien students, including the so-called DACA cases, who claim they were brought here as children.

That’s all good obvious stuff. Should Florida cops help the feds to enforce federal law? Of course they should. Obviously they should.

The item preceding that one is even beyond obvious. Are there really people who think that illegal aliens should be allowed to practice law in their state?

Incredibly, yes there are. We have illegals practicing law here in New York State, with the approval of our state Supreme Court [New York Court Rules for Immigrant in Fight to Become Lawyer, by Liz Robbins, NYT, June 4, 2015]. Just one more reason to stay out of New York.

I’m trespassing in this article, though. Here at our own correspondent Washington Watcher II covered the proposed Florida laws, and Ron DeSantis’s positions on immigration, in depth and at length last Sunday.

I recommend that piece to your attention if you haven’t already read it.

Washington Watcher II argues correctly that while DeSantis is admirably tough on illegal immigration, he shows signs of squishiness on the legal variety.

This is all the more surprising when you recall that Florida is home to the Disney Corporation and that Disney was, when the issue surfaced in the middle of the last decade, one of the more egregious instances of a company laying off American workers in favor of cheaper foreigners on guest-worker visas.

After that came out—with Disney by no means the only offender, I should say—it was an issue nationwide in the 2016 election and probably helped Donald Trump to win.

Given that Ron DeSantis

you’d think that Ron would be holding high the banner of restrictions on legal immigration.

As our Washington Watcher II points out, though, the Governor of Florida has a powerful and well-funded Cuban lobby to deal with. If, God willing, DeSantis makes it to the presidency, he may be able to ignore them, but… he’s not there yet. He’s still in Florida.

As a footnote to this, I have a comment on the dishonesty of the Regime Media in reporting about immigration.

Like Washington Watcher II, I used as my main news source here the April 10th news report—and yes, it was printed in the News section—offered by the New York Times. The author is Miriam Jordan, [Email her] who the Times describes as ”a national correspondent covering immigration.”

Oh, she’s covering it, all right—covering it with molasses and chocolate sprinkles. Sample paragraph:

The legislative push [i.e., in Florida] runs counter to a trend elsewhere in the country to integrate the nation’s existing population of undocumented immigrants, estimated at more than 10 million.

Leaving aside that weaselly term ”undocumented immigrants,” which I think we’re all inured to at this point, just fix your attention on the closing words there: ”estimated at more than 10 million.”

The Regime Media has been telling us for at least twenty years that the number of illegal aliens living in the United States is eleven million.

That it’s been a stable eleven million—or a stable any number—for twenty years seems improbable in the extreme. I was hearing way back in the 2010s that respectable analysts had come up with twenty or thirty million. See Patrick Cleburne’s Biden Enfranchising 11 Million, 20 Million, Or THIRTY Million Illegals? WE NEED TO KNOW!

I’m guessing that if I were to confront Ms. Jordan with that, she’d reply: ”So what’s wrong with what I said? I said ’more than 10 million.’ Well, thirty million is more than ten million, isn’t it?”

John Derbyshire [email him] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him.) He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. He has had two books published by com: FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle) and FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT II: ESSAYS 2013.

For years he’s been podcasting at Radio Derb, now available at for no charge. His writings are archived at

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