Ron DeSantis Announces Tragic News

OPINION:  This article contains commentary which may reflect the author’s opinion

Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida announced that a boat carrying many Haitian migrants, firearms, drugs, and night vision equipment had been stopped by the state’s law enforcement.

“Our Florida Fish and Wildlife offices interdicted a vessel that had 25 illegal immigrants, potential illegal immigrants from Haiti in their boat. In their vessel, they had firearms, they had drugs, they had night vision gear, and were boating very recklessly, which would potentially endanger other folks,” DeSantis said, adding that the interdiction had occurred “recently” in the last few weeks and was “tragic.”

“That vessel was interdicted near the Sebastian Inlet and those illegal aliens were turned over to the Coast Guard for deportation,” he said, as reported by Fox News.

This was revealed by DeSantis during a news conference when he also signed three laws aimed at preventing illegal immigration into the Sunshine State.

Earlier this week, the Republican governor of Florida announced an increase in manpower and aircraft to the Florida coast in reaction to the upheaval in Haiti and the potential for more migration from the conflict-ridden nation via the sea.

There has been a noticeable spike in violence in the Caribbean country as gangs have taken over the capital, attacking the main airport and setting fire to police buildings. In addition, gangs have liberated thousands of inmates by breaking into some of the largest institutions.

DeSantis’ office reports that the deployment in Florida includes forty-eight more Florida Department of Law Enforcement officers, thirty more Florida Highway Patrol officers with aircraft and drones, twenty-three more Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers with eight more seacraft, and forty-eight more National Guard members with four additional helicopters.

DeSantis stressed on Friday that this was a long-term campaign that involved more enforcement rather than a recent start. He stated that since January 2023, 670 ships carrying over 13,500 unlawful immigrants had been stopped by the Coast Guard with assistance from the authorities.

“The message is the last thing you should want to do is get on a boat and think you’re going to come through from any of these islands to get to the state of Florida,” DeSantis said. “The most likely scenario is you’ll be stopped, and you will be returned to your country of origin.”

“It’s a hazardous journey, it’s not worth doing, and we have the resources to continue to keep the people of Florida safe,” DeSantis added.

Rebecca Zimmerman, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Hemispheric Affairs, informed legislators last week that although the Pentagon is “alert” to the possibility of a mass migration event, it has not yet encountered a sizable number of migrants.

“I think you’re right that the driving conditions in Haiti could very well press more people,” she told Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla. “We recently approved some additional assistance we could provide to the Coast Guard.”

Additionally, the Department of Homeland Security has said that it is monitoring the situation and emphasized that there are still “low” levels of migration to the Caribbean. It further stated that individuals who cross run the possibility of having their passports seized and being deported.

“U.S. policy is to return noncitizens who do not have a fear of persecution or torture or a legal basis to enter the United States. Those interdicted at sea are subject to immediate repatriation according to our longstanding policy and procedures. The United States returns or repatriates migrants interdicted at sea to The Bahamas, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti,” a spokesperson said.

DeSantis also signed three legislation on immigration on Friday. One increased the maximum fine for drivers without a license.

A third law specifies that no judicial system may accept identity given to unauthorized immigrants by other states, while another bill increases the punishment for offenses committed by undocumented immigrants who re-enter the nation after being deported.







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