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Governor Deploys Additional Personnel and Assets to Southern Florida in Anticipation of Increased Migrants from Haiti

30 Haitian immigrants were intercepted by authorities after their power boat ran aground Saturday February 3 off Shark Island near the Fort Pierce Inlet.

Florida - Wednesday March 13, 2024: In anticipation of a potential influx of illegal immigrants from Haiti, Governor Ron DeSantis has ordered additional state assets to the Keys and southern waters of the State of Florida.

“For quite some time, the State of Florida has been dedicating significant resources to combat illegal vessels coming to Florida from countries such as Haiti," said Governor DeSantis in a news release. "Given the circumstances in Haiti, I have directed the Division of Emergency Management, the Florida State Guard, and state law enforcement agencies to deploy over 250 additional officers and soldiers and over a dozen air and sea craft to the southern coast of Florida to protect our state."

Currently, state agencies have security and surveillance assets in South Florida and the Keys as a part of Operation Vigilant Sentry to stop illegal immigration at sea. The governor’s directive today will send additional personnel and assets from the following agencies:

  • The Florida Department of Law Enforcement: 39 additional officers.
  • The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission: 23 additional officers with eight additional seacraft.
  • The Florida National Guard: 48 additional Guardsmen with four additional helicopters.
  • The Florida Highway Patrol: 30 additional officers with an additional aircraft and drones for surveillance.

Governor DeSantis has also authorized the deployment of the Florida State Guard to the Keys to assist in the operation. This deployment includes up to 133 soldiers.