Gov. DeSantis Sends Troops to Block Haitian Migrants from Entering Florida

( – Amid reports of extreme civil unrest in Haiti, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the deployment of 250 soldiers and personnel to secure the Sunshine State from a potential wave of illegal immigrants fleeing the Caribbean nation.

DeSantis announced on Wednesday, March 13th, that Florida has “been dedicating significant resources” to stop illegal vessels coming to the state from other nations, including Haiti. He maintained that no other state has done more than Florida “to supplement” the efforts of the US Coast Guard and that Florida cannot take in the “illegal aliens.” DeSantis deployed soldiers and other personnel to the state’s southern coast, along with more than a dozen additional sea and aircraft.

The move by the Florida governor comes in the wake of violent upheaval and widespread gang violence in Haiti resulting in the prime minister’s resignation and pushing the country to the brink of civil war.

The violence escalated on February 29th after Haitian Prime Minister Henry traveled to Kenya to urge the UN to send law enforcement support to resist the street gangs. In response, a warlord named Jimmy “Barbecue” Cherizier and his group joined forces with other street gangs to overthrow the government and force the prime minister to resign. While Henry became stranded outside the country, the acting prime minister declared a state of emergency.

The gangs escalated their efforts, attacking an airport and prisons, and forcing schools and businesses to close and at least 15,000 people to flee their homes in the nation’s capital of Port-au-Prince. There were even widespread rumors of cannibalism from some of the gang members. As a result, and due to international pressure, Henry announced on Tuesday, March 12th, that he would resign after the formation of a transitional presidential council.

According to some estimates and reports from the UN, at least 80% of Haiti’s capital is now under the control of street gangs. President Joe Biden responded by sending an anti-terrorist Marine unit to protect the U.S. embassy in the Caribbean nation, and his administration is floating a $300 million security funding package.

The crisis is expected to result in a new wave of immigration, which DeSantis is preparing for. The recent deployment includes 48 National Guardsmen, 39 Florida Department of Law Enforcement officers, 30 officers from the Florida Highway Patrol, and 23 from the state’s Fish and Wildlife Commission.

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