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Florida Prevents Around 13,500 Potential Immigrants by Boat in the Past Year

via CNBC Television

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced that since January 2023, law enforcement has intercepted over 13,500 potential illegal immigrants attempting to enter the state via boat.

DeSantis signed bills strengthening penalties for immigration-related offenses as Florida faces a potential influx of migrants fleeing violence in Haiti.

“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,” DeSantis said.

As part of “Operation Vigilant Sentry,” the state increased patrols using assets from multiple agencies.

Last week, 25 Haitians armed with guns and drugs were stopped landing in Florida.

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

For 2023 so far, 670 vessels carrying over 13,500 undocumented migrants have been intercepted trying to reach Florida’s coast, which DeSantis called a “very successful operation.”

He warned those considering the journey by boat that they will likely be stopped and returned to their country of origin.

“And so what we decided to do given the situation that’s happening in Haiti, some brutal reports that are happening, we want to make sure that we’re protecting Floridians and so we have authorized additional officers with the relevant agencies, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Florida Fish and Wildlife we’ve also augmented the National Guard another 48 guardsmen, up to 133 soldiers from the Florida State Guard and 30 additional officers from Florida Highway Patrol for additional helicopters through the National Guard,” DeSantis said.

“The last thing you should want to do is get on some boat and think you’re going to come through for many of these islands to get to the state of Florida.”

“The most likely scenario is you will be stopped and you will be returned to your country of origin,” he added.

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