A Coast Guard Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircrew notified Sector Key West watchstanders of this migrant vessel about 20 miles south of Indian Key, Florida, Dec. 11, 2022. The people were repatriated to Cuba on Dec. 14, 2022.

Florida Couple Praises Gov. DeSantis For Resolving A “Huge Problem”

A Florida Keys couple this week praised Gov. Ron DeSantis for refunding out-of-pocket costs they spent removing a boat used by illegal immigrants, while also lashing out at the Biden administration for creating a “huge problem” for homeowners in South Florida.
Cuban Migrants Off Florida Coast (USCG)

A Florida Keys couple this week praised Gov. Ron DeSantis for refunding out-of-pocket costs they spent removing a boat used by illegal immigrants while also lashing out at the Biden administration for creating a “huge problem” for homeowners in South Florida.

As The Free Press reported last week, Jack and Sue Bartkus personified a growing problem for property owners in the Keys.

A boat of illegal immigrants landed near their home and abandoned the vessel. Local authorities told the couple that under Florida law, they were responsible for its removal. If they shoved it back in the water or simply let it drift away, police added, they could face felony charges and a $100,000 fine for interfering with boating lanes.

In the news: Gov. DeSantis Says Florida Must Fill “Gaps” In Enforcing Immigration Because Of Biden’s Incompetence

They spent $2,500 to have the boat hauled off. 

When DeSantis’ team learned about the Bartukuses’ story, they announced that homeowners would not be liable for such costs under an executive order the Republican governor signed two weeks ago.

On Sunday, the couple told Fox News that the state had reimbursed them for the boat removal.

“We are grateful to Governor DeSantis for taking action,” Sue Bartkus said.

In the news: Florida Gov. DeSantis Admin Says Homeowners Not Responsible For Abandoned Migrant Vessels

“This has been a big problem down in the Keys, it’s a huge problem. Texas thinks they have a problem — Florida has a problem,” Sue added.

“We understand why people are coming over here from Cuba, but I don’t feel like we, as the homeowners, should be left footing the bill, and threatened by the municipalities,” she continued.

“It really should be a federal government issue with immigration.”

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