Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has declared a state of emergency and called out the national guard to deal with an influx of Cuban and Haitian migrants in the southern part of the state.
DeSantis said Friday the migrants have overwhelmed local authorities and the state will deploy air assets, including airplanes and helicopters from the Florida National Guard, to bolster existing Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission marine patrol units.
Under the state of emergency, some DeSantis administration officials will have the authority to suspend the effect of any state law, rule or order that may block them from responding to the situation.
In declaring the emergency, DeSantis — considered a frontrunner for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination in 2024 — blamed the Biden administration for the situation.
“As the negative impacts of Biden’s lawless immigration policies continue unabated, the burden of the Biden administration’s failure falls on local law enforcement who lack the resources to deal with the crisis,” he asserted. “When Biden continues to ignore his legal responsibilities, we will step into support our communities.”
Since Oct. 1, authorities have stopped more than 4,000 Cuban migrants at sea, a significant increase from the 838 who were intercepted in fiscal year 2021, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
In the past two days alone more than 500 Cuban immigrants have traveled to the Florida Keys and more than 100 Haitians have landed in Key Largo, Politico reported.
On Thursday, Biden announced a new policy allowing 30,000 immigrants a month from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela to enter the country in a bid to reduce unauthorized entries.
Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay said he’d been in frequent contact with the governor before DeSantis issued the executive order.
“This is a crisis for us,” Ramsay told the Miami Herald. “So far, definitely the state of Florida has been amazing and they stepped up and have been very responsive.”
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