Florida increases control over the coasts in the face of mass migration by sea

This content was published on January 10, 2023 – 23:17

Miami, Jan 10 (EFE) following the decision of the governor, Ron Desantis, to declare a state of emergency.

The FDEM is in “close communication with local governments and law enforcement partners”(…), and we will continue to deploy all available resources and manpower” to stem the “influx of migrants” arriving in the Florida Keys, Kevin Guthrie, director of this division, said in a statement.

Last week, the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, declared a state of emergency and deployed the National Guard, following the arrival of numerous Cuban and Haitian emigrants by sea in this southern state.


This measure allows the mobilization of National Guard troops and the allocation of large new state resources to face the migratory wave that is affecting the south of the state.

Cuban-born Republican Senator Marco Rubio blamed this new wave of migration, especially Cubans and Haitians, on “the failed immigration policies” of US President Joe Biden.

Rubio met this Tuesday with commanders of the US Coast Guard and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), among other institutions, and said, after praising the “dedication” of the coast guard, that “they cannot do it alone ” and that the Biden Administration “must take action to enforce the law.”

A few hours after Republican DeSantis signed the executive order, the FDEM activated the so-called State Emergency Operations Center and placed it at level 2, in order to facilitate the coordination of state assets.

This division indicated in the statement that, as of today, “more than 300 vessels have been identified for removal with 299 landings and 5,184 immigrants.”

Between December 30 and January 5 alone, “more than 1,100 Cubans and Haitians arrived in the Florida Keys,” in the extreme south of this southern state, Rubio warned.

FDEM is currently working in conjunction with the Florida National Guard, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) to “increase the coastal surveillance and provide better awareness on the activities of migrants”.

According to the FDEM, the National Guard has mobilized 12 aircraft or “air assets” and deployed between 100 and 150 members of this reserve force constituted by volunteers.

The first deployment of police forces began arriving in the Florida Keys last Saturday, and will continue with additional operations “as needed.”

For its part, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) has mobilized two dozen agents in Monroe County, in the southern tip of Florida.

The “first wave” of this police force began to arrive in the state’s Keys on January 7 “and will continue with additional deployments,” while the FHP has assigned 25 agents, 2 planes, and 1 mobile command bus to the area. in support of operations.

This Monday, the Florida chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) asked not to “politicize” the issue of immigration or “further divide” the population of a US state that has prospered “thanks to the contributions made by people from all over the world.

“Our democracy works best when people who seek refuge are welcome and protected,” underlines the statement, in which the ACLU criticizes the governor of Florida for his immigration policy and accuses him of wanting to “score political points” at the expense of people who ” seek protection from violence and persecution.

So far in the fiscal year of 2023, which began on October 1, the US Coast Guard has already intercepted 4,915 Cuban immigrants in the waters of the Florida Straits, compared to the 6,182 intercepted during all of 2022.

In the fiscal periods of 2021 and 2019, 838 and 49 Cubans were intercepted, respectively. EFE



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