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Hundreds of refugees from Cuba have arrived in Monroe County, Florida, the state’s southernmost county since New Year’s Day, prompting legislators at the state and local level to call for border protection improvements from the federal government.

In response to the recent surge of immigrants arriving in the southern end of the Sunshine State, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis activated members of the Florida National Guard. DeSantis also condemned relaxed approach to immigration and border law enforcement from President Joe Biden’s administration.

“As the negative impacts of Biden’s lawless immigration policies continue unabated, the burden of the Biden administration’s failure falls on local law enforcement who lack the resources to deal with the crisis,” said DeSantis. “That is why I am activating the National Guard and directing state resources to help alleviate the strain on local resources. When Biden continues to ignore his legal responsibilities, we will step in to support our communities.”

Florida’s senior U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican who recently won by a landslide in the 2022 Mid-Term Election, discussed the recent influx of immigrants with state and federal officials including U.S. Border Patrol, the US Coast Guard, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and the director of the Monroe County Emergency Operations Center in Key West. Rubio is the descendant of Cuban refugees who fled the country just prior to Fidel Castro’s rise to power. In a recent press release from Rubio, the senator stated:

“We are seeing the impact of the Biden Administration’s failed immigration policies across the country, including here in the Keys. I appreciate the professionalism and dedication of the U.S. Coast Guard”, Rubio said. “They, along with our local first responders, are doing their part, but they cannot do it alone. The strain on local resources and communities is real, and it is only going to get worse unless the administration steps up to enforce the law.”

Matt O'Hern

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