DeSantis swings into action to stop expected illegal immigrant wave from chaotic Haiti

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is trying to get ahead of a potential wave of migrants headed to the Sunshine State as the political situation in Haiti has escalated into a crisis.

The former Republican presidential candidate announced that “over 250 additional officers and soldiers” will be deployed to the southern coast of the state in anticipation of an influx of migrants.

“For quite some time, the State of Florida has been dedicating significant resources to combat illegal vessels coming to Florida from countries such as Haiti,” DeSantis said in a statement Wednesday.

“Given the circumstances in Haiti, I have directed the Division of Emergency Management, the Florida State Guard, and state law enforcement agencies to deploy over 250 additional officers and soldiers and over a dozen air and sea craft to the southern coast of Florida to protect our state,” he added. “No state has done more to supplement the (under-resourced) U.S. Coast Guard’s interdiction efforts; we cannot have illegal aliens coming to Florida.”

“Currently, state agencies have security and surveillance assets in South Florida and the Keys as a part of Operation Vigilant Sentry to stop illegal immigration at sea,” a press release from the governor’s office read.

Personnel will include 39 additional officers from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, 23 extra officers from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission as well as eight more seacraft. Florida’s National Guard will be supplying four more helicopters and 48 Guardsmen. In addition, the Florida Highway Patrol will send “30 additional officers with an additional aircraft and drones for surveillance,” according to the press release.

“Governor DeSantis will also today authorize a deployment of the Florida State Guard to the Keys to assist in the operation. This deployment includes up to 133 soldiers,” the message noted.

Florida Sen. Matt Gaetz pointed to “the DoD’s acknowledgment of an incoming Haitian invasion” for the move on the part of the governor to secure the state.

Department of Defense official Rebecca Zimmerman told Gaetz that “we are alert to that possibility,” when the Republican asked about “a mass migration” from Haiti due to the current emergency there.

Zimmerman added that “the driving conditions in Haiti could very well press more people [to migrate].”

“Illegal immigrants feel empowered to enter the sovereign territory of the United States because of the federal government’s refusal to diligently enforce our immigration laws and protect the integrity of the border,” the news release from the governor’s office stated. “When a state faces the possibility of invasion, it has the right and duty to defend its territory and people. Under Governor Ron DeSantis, Florida will act.”

The decisive move by DeSantis sent a clear message and many social media users were impressed.

Frieda Powers

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