Fri. Apr 19th, 2024
alert-–-white-house-says-squatting-is-a-‘local-issue’-as-it-plagues-the-country:-karine-jean-pierre-says-property-owners-need-to-be-‘protected,’-but-won’t-say-if-biden-supports-ron-desantis’-new-lawAlert – White House says squatting is a ‘local issue’ as it plagues the country: Karine Jean-Pierre says property owners need to be ‘protected,’ but won’t say if Biden supports Ron DeSantis’ new law

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called squatting a ‘local issue’ on Monday and wouldn’t say if President Joe Biden would support a new Florida law signed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis. 

Across the country there have been troubling stories about strangers moving into properties with owners unable to evict them. 

DeSantis, a former 2024 presidential candidate, signed into law legislation that permits state law enforcement officers to remove squatters and penalizes them more. 

‘So my understanding is that this is obviously a local issue,’ Jean-Pierre said. ‘We are certainly tracking that issue. The rights of property owners and renters must be protected.’

‘Ultimately, what needs to happen for local government needs to make sure that they address this and they take action,’ she added. 

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called squatting a 'local issue' on Monday and wouldn't say if President Joe Biden would support a new Florida law signed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called squatting a ‘local issue’ on Monday and wouldn’t say if President Joe Biden would support a new Florida law signed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis

Carrie Black-Phillips, whose family owns a property in Milton, Florida, points to a Writ of Possession that is now posted on the home as she cleans up a mess that was left behind by squatters

Carrie Black-Phillips, whose family owns a property in Milton, Florida, points to a Writ of Possession that is now posted on the home as she cleans up a mess that was left behind by squatters 

When asked specifically about how DeSantis is trying to handle the problem in Florida, Jean-Pierre called it a ‘hypothetical.’

‘What I can say is that, ultimately, this is a local issue,’ the press secretary reiterated.  ‘And it is critical that local governments take action to address it. Again, everybody wants the same thing. We want to feel safe in our community. That’s what they want.’

Jean-Pierre’s answer likely won’t appease Republicans who have recently glommed onto squatting as a potent political issue – another sign, they say, that Democrats are weak on crime. 

High-profile instances have also highlighted the issue. 

Just a few doors down from where basketball star Lebron James purchased a $36.75 million Beverly Hills property – tearing it down to make room for a new dream home – a group of squatters took over a mansion and threw massive ragers for months. 

The squatters only recently vacated the property – after a series of assaults, fires and arrests that reportedly left the basketball star ‘very concerned.’ 

At a press conference last week, DeSantis announced, ‘We are putting an end to the squatters scam in Florida.’

Carrie Black-Phillips shows off the trash left in her family's Florida property, including drug paraphernalia, as her familiy tries to clean up the mess left by squatters and battle to keep them from coming back to the home

Carrie Black-Phillips shows off the trash left in her family’s Florida property, including drug paraphernalia, as her familiy tries to clean up the mess left by squatters and battle to keep them from coming back to the home

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation last week that would make it easier for homeowners to evict squatters. 'While other states are siding with the squatters, we are protecting property owners and punishing criminals looking to game the system,' he said

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation last week that would make it easier for homeowners to evict squatters. ‘While other states are siding with the squatters, we are protecting property owners and punishing criminals looking to game the system,’ he said 

‘While other states are siding with the squatters, we are protecting property owners and punishing criminals looking to game the system,’ the Florida governor said. 

He said the new law would make evicting unlawful tenants easy. 

‘If you’re the victim of squatting, you can simply fill out a form, give it to your local sheriff and the sheriff is instructed to go and remove the people who are inhabiting your dwelling illegally. And that will happen very quickly,’ DeSantis said.    

In a Semafor story on the issue, Democratic Florida state Rep. Anna Eskamani blamed DeSantis for making squatting more partisan than it should be. 

Every Florida Democrat also approved the bill. 

‘The rhetoric the governor used was never mentioned anywhere during the [legislative] process. Leave it to DeSantis to make every issue partisan,’ Eskamani told Semafor.