After federal officials removed hundreds of migrants who landed on a remote island west of the Florida Keys, Gov. DeSantis signed an executive order on Friday activating the state’s National Guard as the Florida Keys manages a major influx of people fleeing Cuba, Haiti, and other Caribbean countries.
“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 Governor Ron 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.”
Since August 2022, federal, state and local law enforcement have encountered more than 8,000 migrants in waters off the coast of Florida. According to the executive order, the number of people attempting to come to the United States and interdictions in and near Florida “have risen to alarming levels not seen in decades.”
The influx in migrants has overwhelmed local law enforcement, namely the 194 deputies of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, and thus has prompted DeSantis to say he is sending helicopters, airplanes and vessels to help authorities reach and “ensure the safety” of migrants who attempt to reach U.S. borders.
In the executive order, DeSantis also highlighted that Florida has a history of “assisting refugees, including Cubans and other fleeing communist regimes.” However, many in the community argue that Florida has a history of mainly assisting Cuban refugees and deporting those from Haiti and other Caribbean/Central American countries.