Florida Governor Ron DeSantis activated the state national guard on Friday to assist local authorities in dealing with a significant flow of Cuban migrants arriving in the Florida Keys.
DeSantis, a Republican, alerted the Florida National Guard and issued an executive order instructing state law enforcement to assist in the Keys in response to the arrival of more than 700 migrants, primarily from Cuba, during the New Year’s weekend.
The governor condemned the federal government’s immigration policies in a statement and its handling of the migrants who had arrived in the Keys.
The Biden administration’s announcement Thursday of a new strategy to begin deporting Venezuelans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Cubans who enter the country illegally across the Texas border was not mentioned in the governor’s statement.
In addition, the government declared that it would grant humanitarian parole to as many as 30,000 citizens of those four nations each month if they submitted an online application, paid for their ticket, and found a sponsor.
Advocates for migrants claimed that the new legislation might worsen Florida’s situation.
More Cubans may risk their lives by traveling by water to the United States rather than traveling by air to Central America and driving to the Texas border, according to Ramón Raul Sanchez of the Cuban American organization Movimiento Democracia.
The new scheme might discourage Cubans from traveling illegitimately by sea, according to acting Assistant Secretary Blas Nuez Neto for Border and Immigration Policy at the Department of Homeland Security.
He asserted that Cubans would be better served by applying to the recently unveiled parole program since it would provide them with a possible route to residency that they might not otherwise have.
To “assist water interdictions and safeguard the safety of migrants trying to reach Florida across the Florida Straits,” DeSantis said Florida would send planes, helicopters, and marine patrols to the area.
Since August, more than 4,400 migrants from Cuba and Haiti have arrived in Florida by boat as those two nations’ political and economic difficulties worsen.
As a result of the lack of diplomatic ties between Washington and Havana, it is difficult for the American government to deport Cubans once they have arrived in Florida.