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Tags: florida | ron desantis | haiti | migrants | marthas vineyard

Gov. DeSantis: Haitians Could Go to Martha's Vineyard

By    |   Wednesday, 20 March 2024 01:21 PM EDT

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis said he might transport Haitian migrants who land in his state to Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts.

Gang violence has plunged Haiti into renewed chaos, leaving public services shattered, many people displaced, and bodies strewn in the streets.

DeSantis last week announced he was sending additional security and surveillance personnel to the Florida Keys in anticipation of a potential influx of illegal immigrants from Haiti.

Noting it's easier to send back illegal migrants apprehended at sea as opposed to those encountered on land, DeSantis suggested migrants arriving in Florida could be sent elsewhere in the U.S.

"We do have our transport program also that's going to be operational. So, Haitians land in the Florida Keys, their next stop very well may be Martha's Vineyard," he said in an interview Tuesday with podcast host Dana Loesch. "Hopefully, it doesn't come to that."

DeSantis, who also dedicated more resources to patrolling the Florida waters early last year, said the state had interdicted 660 vessels and repelled more than 13,000 migrants since January 2023 — and that doesn't include Coast Guard numbers.

"This is the job of the federal government, and the Coast Guard does a good job but they are way undermanned," DeSantis told Loesch. "[President Joe] Biden is not devoting enough resources. We've seen issues with this now going on for quite some time."

DeSantis said his actions, and those by the Coast Guard and Florida officials, may discourage Haitians from attempting to reach the state.

"When you show people that they will be interdicted and returned, the incentive for them to try the journey goes down dramatically because this is not an easy trek on a vessel from Haiti." said DeSantis, noting traveling from Haiti is more treacherous than the 90-mile trip from Cuba.

DeSantis said if migrants land in Florida, he can't send them back to Haiti without getting federal clearance.

"If you wanted to fly somebody to a South American country, wherever they're from, it becomes a little bit more difficult because there, the federal government's going to tell the host countries not to accept our plane," he said.

"So we've gone through these iterations of what can we do as states. I definitely think we can help put them back over the border if they come across in Texas or Arizona, and so I'd be willing to help do that. I think that the states really have no other choice to do that at that point."

AFP contributed to this story.

Charlie McCarthy

Charlie McCarthy, a writer/editor at Newsmax, has nearly 40 years of experience covering news, sports, and politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis said he might transport Haitian migrants who land in his state to Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts.
florida, ron desantis, haiti, migrants, marthas vineyard
Wednesday, 20 March 2024 01:21 PM
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