A day after the White House accused Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis of another political “stunt” regarding illegal immigration, the Republican governor reminded people who created the illegal immigration crisis and how Florida, literally, has to clean up the mess President Joe Biden created.
During a press conference in The Villages on Thursday, a reporter asked DeSantis about a comment by White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
On Wednesday, Jean-Pierre commented on DeSantis calling up the Florida National Guard to help with the onslaught of illegal in Florida.
“We have seen Governor DeSantis do political stunts. That is how he perceives to fix this issue from Florida,” Jean-Pierre said. “We’re talking about people coming from countries who are dealing with political strife, who are dealing with issues where they’re trying to find asylum. And he treats them like pawns.”
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“So we have called that out, over and over again. And we will continue to do that,” Jean-Pierre added.
On Thursday, DeSantis noted, “Well, I think it’s interesting because the Coast Guard actually requested the state’s assistance to handle all of these vessels coming.”
“But what I think we’ve done, and we’ve been very aggressive really across the board at mitigating the damage from Biden’s disastrous border policies,” he added.
DeSantis told the audience that the Coast Guard has shared that Biden will not provide any additional resources to its forces patrolling off the shores of Florida. “We’re basically filling gaps that the federal government should be filling,” he said.
DeSantis also countered that Biden has generated this situation through a mixture of “intention” and “ineptitude,” and by signaling to the world that “the rules don’t matter, just show up and you’re fine.”
“You can’t run a country like that,” he continued. “It’s caused a lot of problems.”
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DeSantis noted that the Coast Guard asked for help because it didn’t have the ability to care for some 300 illegals its crews deposited in the Florida Keys.
The governor noted that Florida Guard “air assets” and state wildlife officials have essentially ringed the state to alert the Coast Guard to arriving illegals, and that has caused some of them to turn back.
As for the White House comments, he added, “I would just tell the White House that not only has the Coast Guard asked us to help, but we have no choice but to help because of your neglect and incompetence.”
Against the backdrop of the Coast Guard’s request, DeSantis pointed out that the state would pick up the cost of boats abandoned on the shore by illegals.
As The Free Press reported on Thursday, DeSantis issued an executive order last week saying his administration would handle the removal of those vessels at no cost to property owners.
“We are going to clear the vessels free of charge for those residents because it wasn’t their fault,” said DeSantis.
“Maybe we’ll send the bill to Biden. We’ll see.”