(As originally published with videos and more photos, Fri, January 6th 2023, 6:47 PM EST)
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (TND) — So many migrants have been descending on a southern U.S. border — not the one with a fence — that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order getting the National Guard involved.
Friday, DeSantis activated the Florida National Guard and directed state agencies including law enforcement to support local governments that are responding to the “alarming influx” of migrants landing in the Florida Keys and help prevent further migrant landings.
The Republican governor, who’s considered a possible 2024 presidential candidate, blamed the Biden administration on border crossings as he has done multiple times.
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,” DeSantis wrote in a news release. “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.”
According to The Associated Press, more than 700 migrants, mostly Cubans, arrived in the Keys over New Year’s weekend alone. That includes 337 who landed — or “unlawfully entered,” as DeSantis put it — at Dry Tortugas National Park.
Almost 8,000 Cubans and Haitians have been interdicted since August — about 50 per day — compared with 17 per day in the 2021-22 fiscal year, and just two per day during the 2020-21 fiscal year.
At least 65 migrants have died at sea since August.
Thursday, President Biden signaled a tougher stance, saying Cubans, Haitians, and Nicaraguans who illegally enter from Mexico would be turned back, but it wasn’t clear if that would have an impact on migrants who arrive in Florida.
DeSantis added that Florida’s “long history of helping refugees has always involved support from the federal government and a large, coordinated effort amongst state, federal, and local governments.”
Last June, DeSantis formed a strike force to deal with illegal immigrants, who he blamed for human trafficking and drugs, including fentanyl. He accused the federal government of secretly bussing migrants across the country.
“He reversed the Trump policies, knowing what would end up happening,” DeSantis said about Biden in September, shortly after he used state money to fly Venezuelan asylum seekers from Texas to Massachusetts without any warning.
“It’s somewhat tongue in cheek, but it is true,” DeSantis said in December 2021. “If you sent them to Delaware or Martha’s Vineyard or some of these places, that border would be secure the next day.”