Miami News

The 2022 migrant crisis causes DeSantis to ask the National Guard for help; Washington complains

Gov. DeSantis calls on the National Guard to prevent illegal immigrants from entering Florida and Washington calls it a mockery

Hundreds of Cuban and Haitian migrants landed in Florida Keys over the New Year’s weekend as border patrol deployed resources to facilitate and deal with the migrant crisis. Many people continue to risk the trip across the Florida Straits in rickety motorized rafts.

This prompted Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to call up the National Guard on Friday. Through this executive order, the state will be able to send out planes, helicopters, and marine patrols to aid in sea interdictions and protect migrants who are risking their lives to cross the Florida Straits.

As the Biden administration tries to tighten up border enforcement, the White House sharply criticized Ron DeSantis on Wednesday, January 11 after the Florida governor activated the state's National Guard in response to a surge in Cuban migrant crisis arriving by sea.

“We have seen Gov. DeSantis do political stunts. That is how he perceives to fix this issue from Florida,”

“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 so we have called that out, over and over again. And we will continue to do that.”

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre

Florida Keys and the migrant crisis

The U.S. Border Patrol reports that compared to a year ago, the number of migrants landing in Florida has increased by more than 400%. Migrants arrive practically every day, often multiple times a day, around the Florida Keys, typically on flimsy, unsafe boats.

The Keys, a chain of islands spanning 180 miles in the Florida Straits, are the southernmost U.S. territory and a major maritime border entrance site for illegal immigrants from Haiti and Cuba. Sheriff Ramsay expressed his frustration at the federal government for not planning to prevent the migrant crisis from escalating to this point.

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The recent influx of Cuban and Haitian refugees into the Florida Keys has put a burden on local law enforcement, but the National Guard will intervene. DeSantis added in a statement that this would also assist in reducing the number of migrants who attempt to enter the country illegally.

Over 8,000 illegal immigrants have been apprehended in Florida since August, and 3,345 of them have landed in the Keys since January, according to the order. DeSantis, however, did not detail how the National Guard will prevent migrants from reaching the shores of Florida.

Keep up with the migrant crisis in Florida and more of the latest happenings in your area at Calle Ocho News. Sign up for our email updates to stay on top of local news, sports updates, and fun things to do in Miami.

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