DeSantis Mobilizes Nat’l Guard Ahead of Possible Haitian Migrant Landings

More than 250 law enforcement officers and national guardsmen are deploying to Southern Florida, following orders Wednesday by Governor Ron DeSantis to prepare for an influx of illegal immigration from Haiti. The mobilization, which includes personnel and aircraft from several state agencies, comes as the Caribbean nation faces its second week of widespread gang violence. Hundreds of thousands of Haitians have reportedly been displaced by the upheaval, with many fleeing to the United States.

“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. No state has done more to supplement the (under-resourced) U.S. Coast Guard’s interdiction efforts; we cannot have illegal aliens coming to Florida.”

State agencies currently have an increased number of resources deployed to Southern Florida as part of Operation Vigilant Sentry, which aims to deter illegal migration from the Caribbean. The latest directive from the Governor will send additional personnel, including 39 law enforcement officers, 23 fish and wildlife officers, 48 National Guardsmen, and 30 highway patrol officers. A further deployment of 133 Florida National Guardsmen was also authorized.

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The move by the Governor comes amid increased concerns from law enforcement agencies about a potential surge in migration from Haiti. On Thursday, Martin County Sheriff William Snyder told CBS12 News that he was expecting to face difficulties securing the coastline.

“If they make it to the beach, we know from experience they will run, they will hide, and we will have a complex law enforcement issue,”

“We’re very vulnerable here on the Treasure Coast. We don’t have enough federal resources on the water, they do the best they can. We have a two-story height limit. So, we have much less light because of that. And then we have turtle season,” Snyder said. “If you go north from Miami, the first dark spot on the coast is right here in Martin County.”

On Tuesday, the New York Post published a leaked internal email sent to Border Patrol agents in Miami. The memo highlighted some of the agency’s concerns, including the Biden Administration’s refusal to stop illegal immigration.

“With the breakdown of the government in Haiti, repatriating Haitians may not be happening for the foreseeable future. If this is the case, then the Coast Guard may not be stopping Haitian sail freighter[s].”

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The Haitian government currently faces a total collapse as violent gangs led by former Haitian police officer Jimmy Chérizier continue to seize control of the nation’s capital. Chérizier, who goes by the nickname “Barbecue,” has compared himself in interviews to Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Fidel Castro, and Robin Hood.

Haiti is located roughly 700 miles south of Florida. Almost 300,000 Floridians are estimated to have been born there.

Other stories you may want to read:

Florida Border Patrol Braces for Haitian Refugee Surge

Delray Beach Candidate Ryan Boylston Sued For Defamation

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