Ron DeSantis activates National Guard as migrants arrive in Florida

Ron DeSantis activates National Guard as migrants arrive in Florida

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks in Las Vegas. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis activated the Florida National Guard on Friday as hundreds of migrants have arrived in the Sunshine State.

Why it matters: The decision to deploy troops comes as DeSantis and other Republicans have waged battle after battle against the Biden administration over the president’s immigration policy.

Details: DeSantis, a potential 2024 presidential candidate, directed law enforcement and state agencies to provide resources to local governments in response to migrants arriving in the Florida Keys, his office said in a news release.

He also called on state agencies to provide “additional support to efforts to prevent further migrant landings on Florida’s coast.” The state will allocate planes and helicopters from the National Guard, as well as increase marine patrols for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. , said the governor.

Context: About 300 illegal immigrants entered Florida on Jan. 1, DeSantis said. That’s on top of nearly 8,000 that authorities have “encountered” at sea off the coast of Florida since August 2022, DeSantis said.

Hundreds of Cuban immigrants have arrived in the Florida Keys over the past week, and thousands have been detained by authorities since October, Politico reports.

What he said: “As the negative impacts of Biden’s illegal 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 said. in a statement on Friday.

“That’s why I’m activating the National Guard and directing state resources to help ease the strain on local resources. When Biden continues to ignore his legal responsibilities, we will step in to support our communities.”

Flashback: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and former Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) have taken similar steps in recent years, sending thousands of troops to the US-Mexico border to deal with the ongoing crisis .

Zoom out: President Biden is expected to visit the border for the first time since taking office on Sunday. He will do so as the country anticipates potentially 14,000 migrant crossings per day, Axios reports, which could prompt the administration to limit the ability of migrants to qualify for asylum at the southern border.

Before his trip to Mexico, Biden announced a new policy that seeks to accept up to 30,000 migrants a month from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela. The plan provides legal entry to those countries under humanitarian parole and asylum for one month, senior administration officials told reporters. But those who enter illegally can be deported to Mexico. Biden told immigrants from those countries to “not just show up at the border.”

More from Axios:

Biden prepares for 14,000 immigrants a day

Biden runs to the border

The US sets a record with more than 2 million encounters on the border with Mexico

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