Florida reinforces control of its coasts in the face of the massive arrival of immigrants by sea
Undocumented immigrants have continued to arrive on Florida's shores, and the state has increased resources to secure its coasts and prevent further mass arrivals of immigrants.
The state of Florida assigned its Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) to increase material and human resources to safeguard its coasts, in response to the “unprecedented level of migrant landings on our coasts”, following the governor's decision Ron DeSantis to sign an executive order and declare a state of emergency due to the massive arrival of undocumented immigrants by sea.
Two groups of immigrants, of at least 25 and 19 people, respectively, reached different points on the Florida coast this Tuesday and are in the custody of the authorities, a few days after the governor, Ron Desantis, declared a state of emergency to stop the “influx of migrants”.
The FDEM is in “close communication with local governments and law enforcement partners”(…), and we will continue to deploy all available resources and manpower” to stem the “influx of migrants” arriving in the Keys of Florida, Kevin Guthrie, director of this division, said in a statement.
Last week, the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, declared a state of emergency and deployed the National Guard, following the arrival of numerous Cuban and Haitian emigrants by sea in this southern state.
Migratory wave from Cuba and Haiti by sea
The declaration of emergency allows the mobilization of National Guard troops and the allocation of large new state resources to face the migratory wave that is affecting the south of the state.
Republican Senator Marco Rubio blamed this new wave of migration, especially Cubans and Haitians, on “the failed immigration policies” of President Joe Biden.
Rubio met this Tuesday with commanders of the Coast Guard and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), among other institutions, and said, after praising the “dedication” of the coast guards, that “they cannot do it alone” and that the Administration of Biden “must take action to enforce the law.”
A few hours after DeSantis signed the executive order, the FDEM activated the so-called State Emergency Operations Center and placed it at level 2, in order to facilitate the coordination of state assets.
This division indicated in the statement that, as of today, “more than 300 vessels have been identified for removal with 299 landings and 5,184 immigrants.”
Between December 30 and January 5 alone, “more than 1,100 Cubans and Haitians arrived in the Florida Keys,” in the extreme south of this southern state, Rubio warned.
FDEM is currently working in conjunction with the Florida National Guard, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) to “increase the coastal surveillance and provide better awareness of migrant activities.”
According to the FDEM, the National Guard has mobilized 12 aircraft or “air assets” and deployed between 100 and 150 members of this volunteer reserve force.
The first deployment of police forces began arriving in the Florida Keys last Saturday, and will continue with additional operations, “as needed.”
For its part, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) has mobilized two dozen agents in Monroe County, in the southern tip of Florida.
The “first wave” of this police force began to arrive in the state's Keys on January 7 “and will continue with additional deployments,” while the FHP has assigned 25 agents, 2 planes, and 1 mobile command bus to the area. in support of operations.
This Monday, the Florida chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) asked not to “politicize” the issue of immigration or “further divide” the population of a US state that has prospered “thanks to the contributions made by people from all over the world.”
“Our democracy works best when people who seek refuge are welcome and protected,” underlines the statement, in which the ACLU criticizes the governor of Florida for his immigration policy and accuses him of wanting to score political points at the expense of people who seek protection from violence and persecution.
So far in the fiscal year of 2023, which began on October 1, the US Coast Guard has already intercepted 4,915 Cuban immigrants in the waters of the Florida Straits, compared to the 6,182 intercepted during all of 2022.