Over the weekend, U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Miami Sector along with support from U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Air and Marine Operations, U.S. Coast Guard, and local law enforcement partners responded to five maritime smuggling events in southern Florida which resulted in the arrest of 32 Cuban noncitizens.  

Governor Ron DeSantis Activates Florida National Guard To Stop Flow Of Illegal Migrants

Cuban Migrants Off Florida Coast (Credit: USCG)
Cuban Migrants Off Florida Coast (Credit: USCG)

    Today, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed Executive Order (EO) 23- 03 (Emergency Management – Illegal Migration), activating the Florida National Guard, directing state law enforcement agencies and other state agencies to provide resources in support of local governments responding to the alarming influx of migrants landing in the Florida Keys, and providing additional support toward efforts to prevent further migrant landings on Florida’s shores.

    “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.”

    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.

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    “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,” said the governor’s office.

    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.

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    On January 1, 2023, approximately 300 illegal aliens unlawfully entered Dry Tortugas National Park, located about 70 miles west of Key West, with an additional 45 illegal aliens entering Key West.

    This massive influx of illegal immigrants caused the park to close to ensure the safety of visitors and staff and to provide the space necessary to attend to the illegal immigrants.

    Since August 2022, federal, state and local law enforcement have encountered more than 8,000 migrants in waters off the coast of Florida.

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