Gov. DeSantis: Migrant influx something 'we don't want'

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A day after local officials said the federal government plans to send about 1,000 migrants a month to two South Florida counties, Gov. Ron DeSantis bemoaned the move, arguing that under his leadership the state has been “very cooperative” with federal immigration authorities.

“We have been very cooperative, and then to have this put into certain communities, I think it’s just something that we don’t want,” DeSantis said Friday during a news conference in Sarasota.

The Miami Herald and Sun Sentinel reported late Friday afternoon that U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said the agency does not have imminent plans to send migrants to Broward and Palm Beach counties. But transporting migrants to South Florida is a possibility as part of "contingency" plans, the newspapers reported.

"We do not have any aircraft flying into Florida at this time, but we are looking at capacity building," the Sun Sentinel quoted a federal official as saying. 

Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw had said U.S. Customs and Border Protection could start sending about 135 migrants twice a week to Palm Beach and Broward counties and that the plan could start as soon as the next two weeks. Bradshaw said he talked to officials at the federal immigration enforcement agency.

Bradshaw made the news public Thursday before DeSantis and other officials, including Attorney General Ashley Moody, who works with law-enforcement agencies across the state, were informed. That left state leaders scrambling for information.

“First of all, nothing is concrete. There’s been no migrants brought and released in Florida from this whole problem,” DeSantis said Friday. “Not one migrant has come in, according to the White House, which we talked to yesterday. I just want to let people know that.”

Moody has reached out to law-enforcement agencies that would be affected to discuss their concerns and “evaluate the impact of this plan on Florida,” said Lauren Schenone, a Moody spokeswoman.