THURSDAY 8 P.M. UPDATE:
Governor Ron DeSantis’ office says it was not informed of President Trump’s plan to move migrants from the southern border to Palm Beach and Broward counties in the coming months.
The governor’s spokeswoman, Helen Ferre, says that Florida counties simply do not have the resources needed to accommodate an “influx of illegal immigrants.” She adds that DeSantis is discussing the plan with the Trump administration.
Since taking office last January, DeSantis has been pushing for legislation that would require local law enforcement agencies to cooperate with U,S. immigration officials to ban “sanctuary cities” in Florida.
The crisis at the border is now overflowing into South Florida with planeloads of migrants heading to Palm Beach and Broward counties in the next two weeks. The Trump administration and U.S. Border Patrol suddenly announced, without any warning, that 135 illegal migrants will be transported to Palm Beach and Broward Counties twice a week and released into the local population. This means thousands of migrants with no money, shelter or transportation will be filtering into South Florida neighborhoods, schools and hospitals. Local officials say this is a danger to the community and the only requirement for the influx of individuals is simply “a notice to appear.” Alachua and Clay counties are considered Sanctuary Counties in Florida. At one time Palm Beach and Broward were also designated as sanctuary counties according to the Center for Immigration Studies.
Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw says the federal government will be sending 1,000 undocumented immigrants a month to Broward and Palm from Texas with no plan on how to accommodate them. “We think it is a danger to this community.” They’ll be issued notices to appear. pic.twitter.com/BhQoWX9FK7
— Skyler Swisher (@SkylerSwisher) May 16, 2019
Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said today in a press conference that this county already has a substantial homeless problem and a health crisis with the Hepatitis A outbreak. He said currently Palm Beach County is not capable or prepared to absorb 500 undocumented immigrants a month on an indefinite basis.
Palm Beach County Mayor Mack Bernard also speaking at the presser said that the county may be forced to declare a National Emergency.
— WPEC CBS12 News (@CBS12) May 16, 2019
According to border patrol, the migrants will be shipped into Palm Beach and Broward Counties with a notice to appear, and then they will be released into the already strained, unsustainable population never to be seen again.
Currently, officials do not know who these people are, if they have health problems, if they have transportation or financial means.
Sheriff Bradshaw explained that some of the migrants may have indicated when they were intercepted in El Paso at the Mexico/Texas border that they ultimately wanted to end up in Florida and that’s why they are being sent here.
The 500 migrants flooding into Palm Beach County each month could be made up of family units or adult males, possibly with a criminal background.
Officials say this is a humanitarian issue and it is not humanitarian to drop them off in South Florida with no food, shelter or transportation. They could become homeless in Palm Beach County adding to an already large homeless population. Mayor Bernard indicated that tents may have to be set up.
When they arrive, they will be processed at the The West Palm Beach Border Patrol Station in Riviera Beach and we could receive up to 6000 migrants in the next six months. Because many of these migrants will be children, they will also be assimilated into our local schools.
West Palm Beach is not a Sanctuary City, but rather a Welcoming City which means that officers do not ask the citizen status of an individual nor do they turn them over to border patrol if a crime is committed.