Florida Border Patrol Braces for Haitian Refugee Surge

Border patrol agents in Miami are reportedly bracing for a surge in refugee landings amid a catastrophic breakdown of the Haiti government. As rampant gang violence rocks the Caribbean nation, hundreds of thousands of Haitians have reportedly fled their homes seeking refuge.

An internal email from Miami Border Patrol leaked on Tuesday revealed some of the agency’s concerns, including an imminent surge in arrivals and the Biden administration’s refusal to repatriate migrants. The memo, which was published by the New York Post, indicated that the agency may not be prepared to deal with a potential influx.

“One landing will cripple the station and our ability to respond to other traffic,” the email read.

“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].”

The email stressed the difficulties the agency could face in trying to manage a potential migrant crisis, transporting the arrivals, and identifying fraudulent families.

“The hardest part is keeping the landing contained to a given area. We will want to have medical (local EMS) on scene to check on those who will need it,” the memo said. “Often, they will claim that a juvenile is accompanied when they really are not, so if there is a juvenile make sure that that is a true parent-child relationship,”

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During a House Armed Services Committee hearing on Tuesday, Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz questioned several Pentagon officials about the developing crisis in Haiti and whether the U.S. is prepared to deal with a migrant exodus.

“Congressman, we’re doing a number of things to ensure that we’re keeping track of the situation and we’re prepared,” Senior official Rebecca Zimmerman told Gaetz. “At the moment, we have not yet seen large numbers—what we would characterize as a maritime mass migration,”

Gaetz pressed further, “Do you anticipate a mass migration, though?”

“We are alert to that possibility,” Zimmerman admitted. “I think you’re right that the driving conditions in Haiti could very well press more people. So, we’ve recently approved some additional assistance that we can provide to the Coast Guard.”

Gen. Laura Richardson, commander of U.S. Southern Command, also indicated that mass migration from Haiti was a possibility,

“I think that we need to be postured appropriately for that… I have put in a request for increased capability to do exactly that … we are ready if we need to deal with a mass migration,”

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As the country faces yet another possible migrant surge, surveys indicate that illegal immigration has risen to be the most critical issue among voters. A February Gallup poll found that 28 percent of voters ranked immigration as their top issue, up from 20 percent in January. Illegal migration peaked in December, with more than 300,000 illegal crossings reported.

The issue has damaged Biden’s support among independent voters, with 54 percent viewing the crisis as a “critical threat” to the United States.

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