OKEECHOBEE -- Are hundreds of immigrants headed for South Florida?
Palm Beach County officials expressed concerns last week over news of a controversial plan to transport migrants from Texas to Florida.
“Earlier this week, the chief of Border Patrol out of Miami informed us that their intentions were to bring about 1,000 people every month up into the Broward and Palm Beach County area, 500 to each county. And that these people were going to be brought from the El Paso area that have crossed the border illegally. The composition, according to what we were told, is supposed to be family units,” Palm Beach Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said in a press conference on Thursday.
“We cannot accommodate in Florida the dumping of unlawful migrants into our state,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said during a press conference in Sarasota Friday, May 17. “I think it will tax our resources, our schools, the healthcare, law enforcement, state agencies.”
The governor said he will talk to the president about it.
Senator Marco Rubio sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security on May 16 asking for more information about the plan.
In the letter to U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenam, Sen. Rubio stated:
“An unprecedented flow of unlawful immigrants and asylum seekers is overwhelming our Customs and Border Protection workforce along our nation’s southern border. Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw informs me that the Department of Homeland Security intends to transport approximately 500 migrants per month from El Paso, Texas, to both Broward and Palm Beach counties for release pending an asylum hearing.
“Please respond to the following questions prior to authorizing or scheduling any such movements:
“1. Does the department intent to transport migrants currently in custody at the southern border to states that do not share a border with Mexico?
“2. If so, why?
“3. If so, does the department intend to begin transporting the migrants to communities in Florida and when?
“4. If so, which counties/cities/towns?
“5. How were these locations chosen?
“6. How many migrants will be transported to Florida counties/cities/towns and for how long does the department plan to continue to do this?
“7. Of the migrant population that will be transported to Florida, which countries will be represented?
“8. Has the department engaged with state and local government officials, as well as local organizations, to plan for those communities to receive such an influx of individuals?
“If so, have the entities asked for additional resources to accommodate the migrants?
“It is clear the current situation is untenable and the department is faced with difficult choices given the lack of resources appropriated to secure our nation’s southern border.”