Florida Governor Ron DeSantis isn’t just facing criticism and attacks from some of his fellow Republican presidential candidates. He’s also getting heat from foreign government officials.
Last week, Marcelo Ebrard, the foreign minister of Mexico, said that he would meet with Florida’s Mexican community in June to criticize and discuss the immigration policies that Republicans like DeSantis have put forward.
Ebrard was in Florida last week, attending an event in Tampa with other farm workers. Many of these people work on a seasonal basis and go back to Mexico when they’re not working.
At that event, the foreign minister was highly critical of a new law that Florida has passed that he said was “anti-immigrant.” The event Ebrard will attend this month will occur on June 30 in Miami and will focus on defending “our sisters and brothers throughout the American Union,” according to a statement Ebrard released.
While the statement that the foreign minister sent out doesn’t mention DeSantis specifically, it does single out the state of Florida as being “especially” bad, since there is a “law that is clearly contrary to our community [that] is going to come into force and could lead to many abuses.
The new law that DeSantis signed will officially go into effect as of July 1. It will require any employer that has at least 25 employees to confirm the immigration status of every worker by using the E-Verify system.
That has drawn the ire of many immigration advocates, including Ebrard. The Mexican foreign minister said he has no intentions of interfering with any election in America, saying that he “cannot intervene in the internal process of the United States, but I am going to speak with North American citizens, they can, it is their country too, and they are citizens.”
Despite those comments, Ebrard has been highly critical of DeSantis in the past, and he said that this latest immigration law is based in racism.
Andrews Manuel Lopez Obrador, the president of Mexico, said on May 25 that Hispanics in Florida shouldn’t give DeSantis “one single vote” because of the immigration policies he puts forth. That announcement from the Mexican president came just as DeSantis announced that he would be running for president in 2024.
With his statement, Obrador decided to break from the normal approach of foreign leaders and weigh in on the electoral politics of a foreign nation. The U.S. State Department, for instance, has a policy of never endorsing a particular foreign party or candidate. Instead, it will support free elections in general and democratic institutions.
Yet, Obrador decided to do the opposite, blasting DeSantis for how he treats migrants. In a recent speech, the Mexican president said:
“I ask the Hispanics in Florida not to give one single vote [to Ron DeSantis]. Do not vote for those who persecute migrants.”
Other foreign officials have similarly decided to weigh in on next year’s presidential election in America, with Olaf Scholz, the chancellor of Germany, recently endorsing President Joe Biden in his re-election quest.