Florida Senators query Biden on Haiti migration strategy

by | Mar 18, 2024

Senators Rick Scott and Marco Rubio raised concerns about the Biden administration’s immigration policies in light of Haiti’s political turmoil, demanding a strategy to manage potential mass migration impacts on U.S. and Florida security.

Florida Senators Rick Scott and Marco Rubio have escalated concerns over the Biden administration’s immigration policies and their impact on U.S. national security in relevance to the ongoing turmoil in Haiti.

In a letter addressed to President Joe Biden last Friday, the Republican senators demanded disclosure of the administration’s strategy to manage potential mass migration from Haiti amid worsening political unrest and gang violence. The lawmakers particularly inquired about potential spillover effects on U.S. soil, especially in Florida — home to a large Haitian-American population.

“We believe that the people of Haiti deserve our sympathy, targeted American assistance, and the support of the international community,” the letter reads. “However, Floridians and the rest of the American public will not tolerate your administration opening the floodgates for countless, unvetted foreign nationals to stream into our country, putting our national security at grave risk and creating untold public safety threats.”

The letter additionally outlines a series of questions aimed at eliciting the administration’s plans for vetting procedures, housing arrangements, and measures to ensure that individuals with criminal backgrounds are not admitted into the country.

Last week, Gov. Ron DeSantis dispatched state personnel and various air and sea assets to the Florida Keys and the state’s southern waters to preempt a potential surge in illegal immigration from Haiti.

The deployment comprised over 250 officers and soldiers, compounded by more than a dozen air and sea vessels. Specifically, the operation involved 39 officers from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, 23 officers with eight sea vessels from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 48 National Guardsmen and four helicopters from the Florida National Guard, and 30 Florida Highway Patrol officers, equipped with an extra aircraft and drones for surveillance.

DeSantis additionally authorized the deployment of up to 133 soldiers from the Florida State Guard to the Florida Keys to assist in the operation.


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