As the migrant crisis at the southern border of the U.S. continues the Border Patrol has announced plans to send as many as 1,000 migrants per month from overcrowded camps near El Paso, Texas to Broward and Palm Beach counties.
The first migrants would likely start arriving within two weeks.
“To take this type of influx of illegal immigrants and bring them to Palm Beach County is not only a public safety problem, we think it’s danger to this community,” Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said at a Thursday afternoon press briefing in West Palm Beach.
Palm Beach County Mayor Mack Bernard, concerned about the potential strain such a move would put on local services said “we may have to declare a national emergency for Palm Beach County because it would spread us thin.”
Bernard said he and other county leaders will appeal to the federal government for additional resources to help deal with the influx.
“If we have to address this as our responsibility we will do everything in our power to feed those individuals and provide them shelter but it will create a financial strain on our already tight budget,” he said. “We want a better plan from our federal government.”
Bradshaw says he has been in touch with Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott about the Border Patrol’s plan and has reached out to the White House to express his concerns with the move.
No specific reason for Broward and Palm Beach Counties being chosen as sites to send illegal migrants to could be cited, other than the migrants themselves may have stated Florida was their ultimate destination.
A countywide plan is in place to handle a mass migration situation however the scenario envisioned involved an influx of migrants who would eventually be handed off to the Border Patrol.
In this case, however, the scenario is reversed and no plans exist for the long term care and handling of migrants by the county.
Broward County Mayor Mark Bogen called the move ‘irresponsible’ on the part of the feds and said he will “do everything possible to help these people,” but noted that they will be coming here without jobs or prospects and will do nothing more than create a bigger homeless problem in the county.
Unlawful arrivals are overwhelming our system. Now I have just been informed by #PalmBeach Sheriff that starting next week Border Patrol will begin transporting 500 migrants a month from border to #Broward & PalmBeach #Florida, & releasing them pending an asylum hearing#Sayfie
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) May 16, 2019