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Tags: florida | ron desantis | migrants | haiti | keys | security

Gov. DeSantis Prepares Florida for Haitian Influx

By    |   Wednesday, 13 March 2024 01:22 PM EDT

Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis is sending additional security and surveillance personnel to the Florida Keys in anticipation of a potential influx of illegal immigrants from Haiti.

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

Haiti on Tuesday readied for a new government after its prime minister agreed to step down over spiraling gang violence, but a planned U.N.-backed stability mission floundered when lead-nation Kenya put its role on hold.

The state of Haiti could motivate some to flee the country by sea and seek refuge in the U.S., with Florida being an initial destination.

"For quite some time, the State of Florida has been dedicating significant resources to combat illegal vessels coming to Florida from countries such as Haiti," DeSantis said in a statement Wednesday.

"Given the circumstances in Haiti, I have directed the Division of Emergency Management, the Florida State Guard, and state law enforcement agencies to deploy over 250 additional officers and soldiers and over a dozen air and sea craft to the southern coast of Florida to protect our state."

DeSantis said "[n]o state has done more to supplement the (under-resourced) U.S. Coast Guard’s interdiction efforts. ... "[W]e cannot have illegal aliens coming to Florida."

Florida agencies have provided security and surveillance assets in South Florida and the Keys as part of Operation Vigilant Sentry, which is focused on stopping illegal immigration at sea.

DeSantis' directive includes:

  • The Florida Department of Law Enforcement supplying 39 additional officers.
  • The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission supplying 23 additional officers with eight additional seacraft.
  • The Florida National Guard supplying 48 additional Guardsmen with four additional helicopters.
  • The Florida Highway Patrol supplying 30 additional officers with an additional aircraft and drones for surveillance.

DeSantis also will deploy 133 soldiers from the Florida State Guard to the Keys to assist in the operation.

During a House Armed Services Committee hearing on Tuesday, a Defense Department official said the Biden administration was "alert" to the possibility of Haitian migrants fleeing to the U.S., Newsweek reported.

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.


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Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis is sending additional security and surveillance personnel to the Florida Keys in anticipation of a potential influx of illegal immigrants from Haiti.
florida, ron desantis, migrants, haiti, keys, security
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2024-22-13
Wednesday, 13 March 2024 01:22 PM
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