OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
A frustrated Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered state National Guard troops to active duty on Friday as a surge of migrants in the Florida Keys continued. The GOP governor went on to blast President Joe Biden’s failure to tackle the issue, calling his overall response to the border and immigration crises “inept,” adding that the administration has “failed to provide the resources necessary to respond to the current mass migration event.”
His order also instructs Florida law enforcement and other state agencies to help local governments as they respond to the surge of 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,” said DeSantis. “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 calls up National Guard to meet Cuban refugee influx https://t.co/oPMpZb1D56
— Bo Snerdley (@BoSnerdley) January 7, 2023
The order adds:
It is particularly burdensome for the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, which has 194 deputies, to dedicate the necessary resources to manage the movement of hundreds of migrants while also ensuring adequate public safety. 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.
The State of Florida 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.
Florida has a long history of helping refugees, including Cubans and others fleeing communist regimes, find support after they arrive in the United States, however, this has always involved support from the Federal Government and a large, coordinated effort amongst state, federal and local governments.
“Since August 2022, federal, state and local law enforcement have encountered more than 8,000 migrants in waters off the coast of Florida,” the order noted further.
Reports said that Border Patrol agents encountered about 90 migrants from Cuba off the coast of the keys earlier this week. About 300 migrants entered Dry Tortugas National Park on Sunday, and an additional 45 migrants entered Key West on Sunday.
JUST IN: Ron DeSantis has activated the Florida National Guard in response to the alarming influx of illegal aliens arriving in the Florida Keys.
— Proud Elephant 🇺🇸🦅 (@ProudElephantUS) January 6, 2023
“Florida has a long history of helping refugees, including Cubans and others fleeing communist regimes, find support after they arrive in the United States; however, this has always involved support from the federal government and a large, coordinated effort amongst state, federal, and local governments,” DeSantis noted.
The back-and-forth between DeSantis and Biden over the administration’s immigration policies has gone on for months. In fact, a year ago, DeSantis warned if the administration sent bussed or flew illegal migrants into his state, he would begin sending them north to Democrat-run “sanctuary” cities — which he has since done.
During an appearance on Fox News’s “Life, Liberty & Levin,” DeSantis told host Mark Levin that if Joe Biden attempts to send illegal aliens to Florida, he will send them to the president’s home state of Delaware.
So, we had a circumstance in Florida where they brought in a flight of people that had come illegally across the border. One of the guys they brought into northeast Florida ended up murdering somebody in the community. So, obviously, he’s not securing the border, which is a problem, but then to farm out people into communities all across the country is imposing huge costs on Florida and other states,” DeSantis said.
“We have money that if they drop in Jacksonville, let’s say, I’ll pay for buses and we will send them to Delaware and some of these other places, and then they’ll know that Florida is not a good place to do it. We will also impose some I guess restitution on the companies that are bringing them in with federal government, these are contractors, bus companies, whatever,” he added.