Gov. Ron DeSantis has issued an executive order activating the Florida National Guard and directing other state agencies, including law enforcement, to help local government agencies respond to the influx of migrants to the Florida Keys.
The order was issued in response to the Jan. 1 unlawful entry of 300 illegal aliens to Dry Tortugas National Park, about 70 miles west of Key West. The incident forced the National Park to close to provide the space required to attend to the influx of migrants. At the same time, another 45 illegal aliens entered Key West.
DeSantis blamed Biden administration policies for the unlawful arrival of migrants to Florida.
“The burden of the Biden administration’s failure falls on local law enforcement who lack the resources to deal with the crisis,” DeSantis said while announcing the Jan. 6 executive order.
Under the order, the State of Florida will deploy air assets, including airplanes and helicopters from the Florida National Guard, and will reinforce Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission marine patrol to support water interdictions and ensure the safety of migrants attempting to reach Florida through the Florida Straits, the Governor’s office said in a written statement.
According to DeSantis’ office, federal, state, and local law enforcement have encountered more than 8,000 migrants in waters off the coast of Florida since August 2022.