Tag Archives: Biden

Governor Ron DeSantis Announces Nearly 11,000 Foreigners Repatriated After Attempting to Enter Florida Illegally During Biden’s Border Crisis

From press office of Governor Ron DeSantis:

State of Emergency extended to continue response efforts

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced since August 21, 2022, nearly 11,000 migrants have been repatriated after attempting to enter the state illegally. Over the weekend, 167 migrants were interdicted, with 51 migrants apprehended upon landing. Nearly 350 migrant vessels have been reported, with 259 removed by the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). Earlier this week, Governor DeSantis signedExecutive Order 23-49, extending the state of emergency for the ongoing illegal migration.

“As Biden’s Border Crisis continues unabated, my administration is working hard to protect our communities and businesses from the many threats posed by illegal immigration,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Because of our action, we have seen a drop in the number of vessels and people able to make landing in the Florida Keys, and our continued presence serves as a deterrent for illegal immigration. By extending the State of Emergency, we will continue to surge resources to assist interdiction and repatriation efforts.” 

“FDEM is committed to continue working with our state and local partners to increase coastal vigilance and provide improved situational awareness on migrant activities,” said FDEM Director Kevin Guthrie. “There are many risks associated with surges in migration, and the Division stands ready to respond to any potential threat our state faces.”

On January 6, 2023, Governor Ron DeSantis signed EO 23-03 declaring a State of Emergency in response to the surge in migration along Florida’s coastline. On February 15, Governor Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill 6-B, creatingthe Unauthorized Alien Transport Program within FDEM. 

Earlier this week, the Florida Highway Patrol and Florida Department of Law Enforcement announced the most recent strike force interdiction operations resulted in the interception of 15 undocumented aliens, the confiscation of over four pounds of fentanyl, which is enough to kill 1 million people, and 39 pounds of methamphetamine. The strike force was formed at the direction of Governor DeSantis to interdict human smuggling and human trafficking and to seize illegal weapons being transported through the state and has undertaken interdictions across Florida.

State actions include:

Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM)

  • FDEM established a base camp and command post in Marathon for responding personnel. The base camp houses members of the Florida Highway Patrol, the National Guard, FDLE, and FWC.
  • FDEM is deploying teams to conduct assessments of the regulated disposal of vessels and coordinate preparedness and response to foreign animal disease risks into the state.
  • FDEM is coordinating the removal and disposal of migrant vessels.
  • FDEM is leading the coordination of state assets for the mass migration response, including:
  • Electricity to assist with power to command posts.
  • Pallets of bottled water and Meals Ready-to-Eat (MREs) to be used by responding personnel.
  • Night vision goggles and forward-looking infrared units for responding personnel to safely navigate and patrol waterways at night.
  • A large vessel platform to assist responding personnel in the detection of migrants at sea, search and rescues, long-distance travel, and travel in inclement weather.
  • 350 personal floatation devices for use in the response and during interdictions.

Florida National Guard

  • The Florida National Guard has six aircraft on mission and has conducted 471 flights for a total of 1,109 flight hours.
  • The Florida National Guard has mobilized 150 National Guardsman to coordinate operational efforts with the U.S. Coast Guard and FWC aviation teams.
  • The Florida National Guard will bolster FWC marine patrol to support water interdictions and ensure the safety of migrants attempting to reach Florida through the Florida Straits.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC)

  • A total of 150 officers and support personnel have deployed to emergency migration response, and recently a seventh wave of 15 additional FWC officers have arrived to provide additional support throughout the Florida Keys.
  • FWC has tasked five large platform offshore patrol vessels in addition to maritime assets already in place. Included in those assets is the 85’ vessel Gulf Sentry with six crew members. They are patrolling and assisting U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Coast Guard, and Customs and Border Protection with migrant landings.
  • FWC Aviation is conducting routine flights in support of local, state, and federal partners and is coordinating with the U.S. Coast Guard, Florida National Guard, and FHP air assets.
  • FWC is working in conjunction with FDEM to assess and document derelict migrant vessels. FWC is documenting and processing vessels on state waters and FDEM is documenting and processing vessels on dry land.
  • Currently, FWC does not anticipate the need to institute any additional recreational boating restrictions in the region. For everyone’s safety, recreational boaters are cautioned to remain clear of any suspected migrant vessel and alert authorities to their location.
  • If an abandoned migrant vessel lands on private property, the property owner is not responsible for its removal. The state will remove these vessels free of charge. Report an abandoned vessel to the FWC at 888-404-3922.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE)

  • FDLE has nearly two dozen members deployed in Monroe County.
  • FDLE aviation assets are assisting with patrolling the waters.
  • FDLE is coordinating Florida’s law enforcement response, similar to their active role in hurricanes, and is in contact with state and local partners to ensure they have the resources needed to manage the current mass migration situation.
  • As migrants are more at-risk to human trafficking and other crimes, FDLE is helping to gather and provide intelligence and conducting investigations and assisting as requested by federal, state, and local partners. 
  • FDLE agents are conducting interviews and gathering intelligence in conjunction with US Customs and Border Patrol and Homeland Security Investigations. 

Florida Highway Patrol (FHP)

  • FHP has deployed 30 troopers, six unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with drone pilots, two fixed-wing aircraft with downlink capabilities, and one mobile command bus in support of ongoing operations.  

During South Florida Visit, Governor Ron DeSantis Blasts Joe Biden For Engagement with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro

From Governor Ron DeSantis’ press office:

DORAL, Fla.  Today, Governor Ron DeSantis was joined by Venezuelan Americans in Miami-Dade County to discuss the Biden administration’s unconscionable resumption of high-level diplomatic contact with the brutal Maduro regime in Caracas and to highlight the failures of the Biden administration’s energy policies which have led to record high gas prices. A recording of the roundtable discussion can be viewed here.

“Many Americans and a lot of Floridians are very angered by the Biden administration‘s recent attempts to legitimize the brutal Maduro regime in Venezuela,” saidGovernor Ron DeSantis. “This is part of a familiar pattern of the Biden administration thumbing its nose at millions of people here in Florida, just like when it took FARC off the terrorism list and didn’t lift a finger to help the democracy protesters in Cuba. Now, Biden is going hat in hand to legitimize Nicolas Maduro, who is responsible for countless atrocities and has driven Venezuela into the ground. The United States should be energy independent, but instead gas prices have been going up consistently since January 20, 2021. Now we’re in a situation where people are really hurting and rather than acknowledge that their policies have been ineffective, they’re going to Maduro and they’re going to the ayatollahs in Iran. The answer is American energy independence, not propping up Nicolas Maduro. We’re saying here today: No, we do not accept Joe Biden legitimizing a murderous tyrant and we stand with the people in South Florida and the people in Venezuela who are seeking freedom.”

Under the Biden administration, there has been sky-high inflation and record high gas prices impacting Floridians and Americans across the country. Governor DeSantis called on the Florida Legislature to enact a gas tax holiday to provide relief to Floridians at the pump and he is looking forward to that legislation hitting his desk. Furthermore, the Florida State Board of Administration continues to refrain from investments in Venezuelan entities and all state agencies are prohibited from engaging with the Venezuelan government or Venezuelan companies.

“The Biden Administration’s secret meeting with the tyrannical despot Maduro legitimizes a cruel regime and is a demoralizing betrayal of those who have risked their lives for freedom in Venezuela and elsewhere,” Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez said. “The U.S. should not rely on our enemies for energy. Instead, we should hold dictators accountable and increase domestic energy production here at home. That is why I am proud to stand alongside Governor DeSantis in condemning the White House for emboldening Maduro’s dictatorship and refusing to pursue US energy independence.” 

“Governor, thank you for bringing us together for such an important reason. The President of the United States is looking for oil everywhere except in the United States of America,” said Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart. “In these talks he is betraying the freedom of Venezuela, which is something that we will not stand for. We have not seen a betrayal like this since the ‘60s, and not only is he betraying the Venezuelan people, he is harming our national security. President Biden, if you think you can continue to betray the Venezuelan cause of freedom with impunity, you are mistaken.”

“Thank you, Governor for your support. I left Venezuela in February 1999 when the whole country was burning,” said Ernesto Ackerman, President, Independent Venezuelan American Citizens. “I am also the son of a concentration camp survivor. I did not see the impacts of socialism in movies or books, I saw it in person. Maduro is an international criminal. Now, secretly and behind our backs, the President of the United States goes and talks to this criminal. Criminals talk to criminals. We do not talk to criminals. Maduro belongs in jail. My concern is that these people are injecting socialism in our community. Let’s go into the schools. Let’s teach our students in the United States how socialism starts, because it starts like this.”

“For my entire life I have remembered my father’s story and how he was rescued from Auschwitz by Americans,” said Dr. Rafael Gottenger, President, Venezuelan American Medical Association. “My mission has been to help Venezuelans who fled to the United States and those still dying in Venezuela. There are still children dying from hunger in Venezuela. This opening from the Biden administration will incentivize more black market operations in Venezuela and will allow the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela to get worse, which is why we are so concerned about what is happening right now.”

“We are now in a fight between principles, values and interests,” said Juan Fernandez, Founder, Gente del Petroleo. “I think everyone here today is fighting for principles. I was working in Venezuela the year that Chavez came to power. We realized in that year that Venezuela could not be a reliable partner in the energy market. That has not changed. We will continue to fight for principles and against Maduro, no matter who is supporting him, whether it is President Biden or anyone else. There are interests around our president who are pushing this narrative but it does not make sense. The oil industry in Venezuela has been completely destroyed. I think if we can ever do something with the country, first we need to get Maduro out of Venezuela.”

“I understood little by little that Venezuela was falling into the wrong hands because it was under a socialist administration with communist ideas,” said Lorenzo di Stefano, owner of El Arepazo restaurant. “To hear President Biden say he is not going to finance Russia — it doesn’t matter if he is going to buy oil from and fill the pockets of Maduro, a terrorist narcotrafficker who has killed his people and keeps tossing political prisoners in jail.”

“Thank you Governor DeSantis for being the retaining wall between patriotism and capitalism and socialism and communism,” said Carines Moncada, Journalist, Venezuelan Radio Talent. “Why would you take the business from one dictator and give it to another dictator? Sitting down with the Venezuelan regime, [Biden] was endorsing Maduro as a leader of Venezuela and hurting the people of Venezuela [who] are dying because they have no medicine, because they have no food, because they can’t afford to live the way they should be living.”

“Three weeks ago I was in Venezuela and yes, it’s very pretty, but the truth is the hospitals are in crisis, the economy is in crisis, so many have lost their businesses, and they haven’t been able to rebuild,” said Lesly Simon, President, Venezuelan-American Chamber of Commerce. “I don’t see how this secret meeting [between the Biden administration and the Maduro regime] will help the people of Venezuela.”