Florida Blocks Migrant Boat From Haiti

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced last week that his state blocked a boat carrying migrants, weapons and drugs before it landed in Florida. The statement came as the state also announced that it blocked about 13,500 migrants from entering the state via the sea since the beginning of last year.

DeSantis said that law enforcement “interdicted a vessel that had 25 illegal immigrants, potential illegal immigrants from Haiti in their boat.”

“In their vessel they had firearms, they had drugs, they had night vision gear and were boating very recklessly, which would potentially endanger other folks,” said the governor.

Those on the boat were transferred to the U.S. Coast Guard for deportation.

DeSantis also announced that since January 2023 the state had turned away more than 13,000 migrants. In that month, DeSantis signed a state of emergency. He said that the state “surged vessels to be able to assist the Coast Guard.”

“Our efforts have led to the interdiction of 670 vessels, carrying over 13,500 illegal aliens,” he said, calling it “very successful.”

The Pentagon stated earlier this month that it was preparing for a potential mass exodus of Haiti to the United States over the sea. Following similar unrest in the 1990s, a large number of Haitians attempted to enter the country, some making it successfully.

The news comes as the situation in Haiti continues to get worse. A major jailbreak earlier this year led to the country falling into a state of near-anarchy. Haiti’s prime minister has resigned and most signs of law and order have dissolved in the capital of Port-au-Prince.

The U.S. State Department cautioned Americans from traveling to the country and organized a rescue flight leaving from another major city in the country.

Rep. Cory Mills (R-FL) has organized two flights rescuing Americans from the country in the past two weeks. Mills similarly organized evacuations of Americans from Afghanistan in 2021 and from Israel last year.