Florida Republicans Request Biden’s Permission for Navy Assistance

(RepublicanNews.org) – A group of House Republicans representing the Sunshine State are calling on President Joe Biden to permit the U.S. Navy to interdict and intercept illegal immigrants attempting to land on Florida’s shores after fleeing Haiti amid widespread violence and political upheaval.

Republican Reps. Gus Biliarakis, Anna Paulina Luna, Daniel Webster, and Matt Gaetz, all of whom represent Florida, sent a joint letter to the president and called on him to address the “anticipated mass migration” to the U.S. coast. The letter also cited an executive order addressing illegal immigration from Caribbean nations signed by former President George W. Bush.

The letter called on Biden to declare, “pursuant Executive Order 13276,” reinforcements for Florida’s efforts to stop illegal immigration by using vessels from the Defense Department to interdict and intercept “aliens from Haiti and repatriate them” and to limit the “financial obligation” of taxpayers. The letter also cited a recent hearing by the House Armed Services Committee during which Lt. Gen. Laura Richardson requested “increased capability” to deal with the potential wave of Haitian immigration.

The letter concluded by urging the president “to engage the necessary assets” to stop these illegal coastal landings and to send people back to Haiti, “preferably to Port-au-Prince.”

The letter comes shortly after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced on Wednesday, March 13th, the deployment of additional personnel and allocation of resources to Florida’s southern coasts to address the potential influx. The deployment includes 50 National Guard service members and 200 state law enforcement officers. The deployment also includes over a dozen ships and aircraft to support the effort.

On February 29th, according to DeSantis, officers of Florida Fish and Wildlife intercepted a boat with 25 immigrants from Haiti, which also contained “firearms,” “drugs,” and “night vision gear.” Officers said they “immediately” knew after stopping the vessel that they just thwarted “a human smuggling operation.”

Haiti plunged into turmoil this month after rivaling paramilitary groups took over 80% of the nation’s capital and forced the country’s prime minister to resign on the condition that a transitional committee be formed to facilitate a replacement.

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