Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday that he has been told that a majority of immigrants who are apprehended at the border say their destination is Florida.
Over the weekend, DeSantis visited the southern border where Florida law enforcement assisted with the apprehension of over 2,800 undocumented immigrants in 23 days and over 100 criminal arrests, according to a news release.
“They’ve made over 2,000 apprehensions, over 100 felony arrests, and they say that almost 70 percent of everybody that they have interdicted said their ultimate destination was the state of Florida,” the governor said at a media briefing, Fox News reported.
“If you think that having a wide-open border 1,000 miles, however far it was, away doesn’t affect here, you’re wrong.”
The numbers cited by DeSantis have not yet been verified.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, both Republicans, asked states like Florida for help at the southern border in June.
According to DeSantis, after immigrants are apprehended, the federal government gives them a bus ticket to go anywhere they want in the United States.
“That’s pretty striking, because I knew that there would definitely be somebody — that people would want to come [to Florida] but I didn’t think it would be quite at that level,” he told Fox News.
“So this has big implications for our schools, our social services, all those other things.”
DeSantis added that the government also flies immigrants overnight to federal facilities or nonprofit organizations in other states without telling their governors.
“Make no mistake about it — this is a deliberate policy to allow illegal migrants to be able to go all across the country in violation of our laws,” he told Fox News.
“To solve this problem, we want to see successful border policies reinstated that President Biden irresponsibly removed,” DeSantis said in the news release.
The Florida National Guard will remain in Texas to provide support at the border until October 2022.
DeSantis also responded to the seemingly hypocritical open southern border policies when the Biden administration is turning Cubans away.
“They have a 100 times stronger case for political persecution leaving a communist dictatorship than the other migrants who are coming across the border who are basically coming across the border because they want more economic opportunities,” he told Fox News.
However, DeSantis said that he believed “the fight for freedom in Cuba is in Cuba with the Cuban people — we want to be supportive of that.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.