Florida governor activates state guard in preparation for Haiti migrants News
Tom Williams, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Florida governor activates state guard in preparation for Haiti migrants

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced via X (formerly Twitter) on Wednesday over 250 officers and soldiers will be stationed at the Florida Keys and southern waters in preparation for a surge of migrants from Haiti.

Speaking on the action, DeSantis said:

For quite some time, the State of Florida has been dedicating significant resources to combat illegal vessels coming to Florida from countries such as Haiti…Given the circumstances in Haiti, I have directed the Division of Emergency Management, the Florida State Guard, and state law enforcement agencies to deploy over 250 additional officers and soldiers and over a dozen air and sea craft to the southern coast of Florida to protect our state. No state has done more to supplement the (under-resourced) U.S. Coast Guard’s interdiction efforts; we cannot have illegal aliens coming to Florida

This comes as part of the state’s Operation Vigilant Sentry, which aims to prevent “illegal immigration at sea.”

In 2021, Colombian mercenaries assassinated incumbent president Jovenel Moïse. Currently, the nation is in a state of emergency due to a large increase in gang violence. On March 12, Prime Minister Ariel Henry announced his resignation as soon as a transitional council is in place. This resignation comes following threats from a gang leader and international pressure.

Thousands have been displaced as a result of these events, prompting DeSantis’ actions to increase border security. While it is not yet clear if there will be an influx of Haitian migrants in Florida waters, a Department of Defense official when asked about a rise in Haitian migrants said the US is “alert to that possibility” and that “[t]he driving conditions in Haiti could very well press more people [to migrate].”

A White House National Security Council Spokesperson said in an exclusive statement to Newsweek regarding the migrant surge, “We are closely monitoring the situation and the routes frequently used by migrants to reach our borders and at this time, irregular migration flows through the Caribbean remain low.”