In order to help local governments in dealing with an increase of migrants landing in the Florida Keys, an executive order was signed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis activating the Florida National Guard and directing state law enforcement agencies.
DeSantis said in a statement that those and other resources are being activated, in part, to help “prevent further migrant landings on Florida’s shores.” The statement said that “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.” “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,” added DeSantis, as reported.
As hundreds of migrants have been interdicted at sea or have landed on the Florida coast in recent days, this move by DeSantis came.
Border Patrol agents and law enforcement partners had responded to five migrant landings and encountered 90 Cuban migrants in the Florida Keys in the past 24 hours, tweeted BP Miami Sector Chief Walter Slosar a few days ago.
A few days later, Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay said his office had been assisting federal law enforcement agencies respond over the weekend to a “spike in Cuban refugee arrivals.” More than 160 refugees had landed in the Middle and Upper Keys, the Sheriff’s office reported.
Ramsay said that “Refugee arrivals require a lot of resources from the Sheriff’s Office as we help our federal law enforcement partners ensure the migrants are in good health and safe.” “Residents may see an increased amount of law enforcement and emergency responders throughout the county as we continue to respond to these landings,” Ramsay added.
Between December 30 and January 2, its partners had interdicted and encountered 606 migrants at sea and 326 migrants in the Florida Keys, said the Homeland Security Task Force Southeast, a coalition comprised of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Coast Guard, and other entities. Encountering 59 migrants on the Marquesas Key was also reported by the Task Force.
There were also multiple migrant landings on Dry Tortugas National Park, as reported, forcing the park to temporarily close as authorities removed 427 migrants from the region. The park is only reachable by boat or sea plane, and it is situated approximately 70 miles west of Key West.
To support water interdictions and “ensure the safety of migrants attempting to reach Florida through the Florida Straits,” the state is deploying air assets which include airplanes and helicopters from the FL National Guard, said the governor’s office in a press release.
The press release said that “The Biden administration’s response has been inept, failing to provide the resources necessary to respond to the current mass migration event. Instead, the burden falls on local law enforcement, which puts Floridians at risk.”
This decision by DeSantis comes after a few months ago the governor drew controversy for busing 50 migrants to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, on which a Texas sheriff opened an investigation in September.
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