Floridians for Immigration Enforcement (FLIMEN)

One of Florida’s most active anti-immigrant groups, Floridians for Immigration Enforcement (FLIMEN) played a major role in the passage of anti-sanctuary bill SB 168 in Florida in 2019.

  • Founded in 2003, Floridians for Immigration Enforcement (FLIMEN) is based in South Florida, but is active throughout the state.
  • Since its inception, FLIMEN has had a strong working relationship with the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). It was listed as a state contact group by FAIR for a number of years.
  • In 2018, FLIMEN achieved its biggest anti-immigrant policy change to date, working directly with Rep. Joe Gruters and FAIR on anti-sanctuary legislation that passed the Florida House and Senate and was signed into law by Florida governor Ron DeSantis in 2019. Florida had no sanctuary jurisdictions previously, but now they are not permitted under Florida law. A number of immigrant and civil rights organizations have announced lawsuits against the state in response.
  • FLIMEN officials have attended FAIR’s annual Hold Their Feet to the Fire event in the past, and when FLIMEN leader Jack Oliver died in 2018, an obituary ran in John Tanton’s racist journal, The Social Contract, thanking Oliver for his activism.
  • FLIMEN has been a vocal critic of Marco Rubio well before he was elected to the U.S Senate in 2010. In 2008, FLIMEN raised funds for a 30-second ad attacking Rubio, then the Florida Speaker of the House, for not bringing forth anti-immigrant legislation at the state level. Rubio’s Senate run was littered with anti-immigrant rhetoric, but he broke those promises by pushing for immigration reform federally, much to the chagrin of FLIMEN activists.
  • For a number of years, FLIMEN has pushed for a bill or ballot measure mandating that Florida businesses participate in the E-verify program. In 2010, FLIMEN supported bills in the Florida House and Senate that would require state contractors to use E-verify. Elected officials who introduced the bill worked with FAIR’s legal arm, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) on the language of the bill. In 2018, FLIMEN was unsuccessful in an effort to get an E-verify measure on the ballot for the 2018 election.
  • In 2016, FLIMEN vice-president Dave Caulkett granted an interview to the anti-Semitic tabloid American Free Press. In the interview, Caulkett stated, “There are a small set of globalists and open border advocates who’ve set Obama’s agenda. They tout diversity and multiculturalism, but our nation is less unified than it’s ever been because of a bogus concept that we have to respect all minor cultures.”
  • FLIMEN has received thousands of dollars in the form of multiple grants from U.S., Inc., a group founded by white nationalist John Tanton.
  • In 2019, the FLIMEN Twitter account tweeted, “Bringing crime, drugs, disease, human trafficking – truly a #NationalEmergency #BuildThatWall”
  • When asked about undocumented immigrants in a 2019 interview, Caulkett stated, “Not only do they disobey the law, but I question their loyalty to this country.”
  • In 2007, FAIR field representative Joyce Mucci held a statewide meeting with anti-immigrant activists in Florida regarding the introduction of anti-immigrant legislation in the next legislative session. FAIR also praised FLIMEN’s previous work with elected officials in the state.
  • FLIMEN was vocally opposed to an in-state tuition bill for undocumented immigrants signed into law in 2014 by Florida Governor Rick Scott. After the bill was signed, FLIMEN claimed it would, “cause an unknown number of legal students to be displaced from college by illegal alien students.”
  • FLIMEN has also been a vocal proponent of state officials’ push to criminalize hiring undocumented immigrants. FLIMEN brought this to the attention of then Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi in 2014. FLIMEN vice president Dave Caulkett told Human Events in 2014, “Document security is the grease that allows illegal immigration to flourish.”
  • In 2014, when Palm Beach County decided to curtail immigration jailings, FLIMEN was outraged, opposing the move and claiming more should be done to encourage deportations, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
  • Though there are no so-called “sanctuary” cities in Florida, FLIMEN claims there are over a dozen and refers to them as “anarchy cities.”