- Since August 2022, almost 6,000 migrants have been apprehended after attempting to enter the United States along Florida’s south coast.
- Over 200 migrant vessels, many abandoned in South Florida, have been reported in connection with the migration efforts.
- Last month, Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency and directed the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) to coordinate with state and federal agencies to prevent loss of life and deter illegal entry into the U.S.
- FDEM and other agencies, such as the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, have deployed personnel, equipment, and supplies to respond to the situation.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The surge in attempts to enter the country illegally along Florida’s coastline which prompted Governor Ron DeSantis to declare a state of emergency last month, has not let up. Since last August, nearly 6,000 migrants attempting to enter the country have been apprehended, and over 200 migrant vessels have been reported.
In response, the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) says it’s been working with various state and federal agencies to prevent loss of life at sea and deter the attempts to illegally enter the United States through Florida’s southern coast.
As the state’s leading emergency management agency, FDEM coordinating Florida personnel, equipment and supplies to respond to the situation. According to the latest FDEM update, the Florida National Guard has mobilized 100-150 National Guardsman to assist with operations, has 10 aircraft dedicated to the mission, and has conducted 338 flights for a total of 795 flight hours.
Meanwhile, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), which typically uses boats and aircraft to enforce laws for the protection of fish, wildlife and their natural habitats, is conducting routine flights in support of local and state partners. According to the report, FWC has established base camps and command posts in the Florida Keys.
According to the briefing, the Florida Highway Patrol has deployed 31 troopers, six unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with drone pilots, two fixed-wing aircraft with downlink capabilities and one mobile command bus in support of ongoing operations.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) reports nearly two dozen members deployed in Monroe County and is coordinating the state’s law enforcement response, gathering intelligence and conducting investigations in conjunction with federal and local partners. The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) has deployed 31 troopers, six unmanned aerial vehicles, and two fixed-wing aircraft to support ongoing operations.
FDEM has also deployed teams to assist with the disposal of abandoned migrant boats, while providing binoculars and night vision goggles to assist in spotting vessels, and providing hundreds of personal floatation devices for the safety of state officials and migrants that are apprehended at sea.