DeSantis: Florida will protect shores from potential Haitian mass migration

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Gov. Ron DeSantis said the state of Florida will do what ever it has to in order to protect its borders from the potential of mass migration from Haiti.

“Obviously, the Coast Guard is the primary vehicle to protect the shorelines of the United States. We have supplemented that throughout the years,” said DeSantis.

Problems in Haiti continue to develop after armed gangs and militias took over its streets and ports.

Hunger soars and aid dwindles as gangs in Haiti suffocate the country

DeSantis said he’s moving assets into place to deal with issues related to a potential mass migration.

“In January of 2023, I did an executive order, declaring it to be a state of emergency and so we surged vessels to be able to assist the Coast Guard,” said DeSantis.

The governor said between January 2023 and March 2024, a number of illegal immigrants were stopped off of Florida.

“Our efforts have led to the interdiction of 670 vessels, caring over 13,500 illegal aliens,” said DeSantis.

Gangs unleash new attacks on upscale areas in Haiti’s capital, with at least a dozen killed nearby

The U.S. Coast Guard said they are not seeing a huge number of boats leaving Haiti at this time.

“There has not been anybody leaving the island, but our mission is still the same. We will deter illegal migration coming into the water,” said U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer First Class Nicole Groll.

The Coast Guard said their mission remains the same—to interdict vessels with migrants, to offer assistance and then to take people on those boats back to their country of origin.

“A lot of folks who leave are in overloaded, unsafe vessels. Our primary mission is to make sure those folks don’t die at sea,” said Groll.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to WFLA.