DeSantis activates National Guard as Florida Keys faces ‘alarming influx of migrants’

Governor Ron DeSantis activated the National Guard via an executive order to help address an “alarming influx of migrants landing in the Florida Keys” as the Coast Guard and Border Patrol are overwhelmed by the increase of refugees fleeing Cuba, Haiti, and Nicaragua.

(Video Credit: WPLG Local 10)

The “State of Emergency” is an effort to stop more landings along the Florida Keys. Law enforcement agencies and other state entities are being given additional resources to assist the local government in responding to the sharp uptick in migrant landings in South Florida.

“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,” DeSantis asserted, according to Fox News. “That is why I am activating the National Guard and directing state resources to help alleviate the strain on local resources. When Biden continues to ignore his legal responsibilities, we will step in to support our communities.”

DeSantis noted that the surge in migrant arrivals in the Florida Keys is “likely to constitute a major disaster.”

Florida will “will deploy air assets, including airplanes and helicopters from the Florida National Guard, and will bolster Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission marine patrol to support water interdictions and ensure the safety of migrants attempting to reach Florida through the Florida Straits,” a news release stated.

(Video Credit: Fox News)

Under the “State of Emergency,” some 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. That means local ordinances could be temporarily suspended and rules dealing with issuing contracts and spending can be waived according to the Miami Herald.

“I find that the demands placed upon funds specifically appropriated to local agencies for disaster relief or response are unreasonably great and that such funds may be inadequate to pay the costs of coping with this emergency,” the governor’s executive order contended.

Wednesday, the Coast Guard picked up over 300 migrants at Dry Tortugas National Park, which is 70 miles west of Key West. They were taken to Key West on Thursday. Seven chartered buses then transported them to Border Patrol stations.

The park was forced to close after hundreds of migrants arrived at the islands during New Year’s weekend. It will reopen to residents and visitors on January 8.

Over 8,000 illegal immigrants have been encountered in the waters off the coast of Florida since August 2022, according to the governor’s office.

Over the previous 24 hours, agents have responded to five landings and have taken roughly 90 Cuban migrants into custody in the Florida Keys, according to the
Border Patrol. An announcement was released on Friday detailing the encounters.

President Biden announced a new immigration policy for Cuba and other countries that border Mexico a day before DeSantis’ announcement. Thursday the Biden administration stated that the U.S. would allow 30,000 individuals a month from Haiti, Cuba, and Nicaragua into the country. The rest will allegedly be turned away and sent back to where they came from.

(Video Credit: The Washington Post)

“We anticipate this action is going to substantially reduce the number of people attempting to cross our southwest border without going through a legal process,” Biden claimed, according to Fox News.


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