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DeSantis deploys extra soldiers after Haitians pull up in boat with guns; might send illegal aliens to Martha's Vineyard
Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

DeSantis deploys extra soldiers after Haitians pull up in boat with guns; might send illegal aliens to Martha's Vineyard

Haiti's implosion was years in the making. The country's president was assassinated on July 7, 2021. The next month, the island was rocked by a devastating earthquake, which killed more than 2,200 people. In the years since, the island nation has been gripped by a nightmarish confluence of crime and bloodshed.

While NBC News recently reassured its audience that the cannibal gangsters of yesteryear are not presently prowling the body-strewn streets of Port-au-Prince looking for their next meal, criminals have nevertheless taken over the country's capital, freed thousands of felons from jail, engaged in systematic rape, forced the prime minister to resign, and threatened genocide.

Recent news of both a Haitian illegal alien's alleged rape of a girl in Massachusetts and the attempt by a boat containing Haitian migrants and guns to reach Florida shores appears to indicate the failed nation has begun to export its problems.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has made clear he won't tolerate this risk to his state.

DeSantis reiterated last week, "In Florida, we do not tolerate illegal immigration, let alone lawlessness committed by illegal aliens who shouldn't be here in the first place."

In addition to deploying more soldiers to protect the coastline, the Republican leader has indicated he'll bus the Haitian arrivals who managed to steal into the country over to Martha's Vineyard. After all, the elite liberal enclave is home to at least three towns that have adopted sanctuary policies in recent years.

Armed invaders

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission revealed last week that a pair of officers conducting nighttime water-based patrol near Sebastien Inlet on Feb. 29 stopped a 42-foot boat containing dozens of Haitian migrants along with weaponry.

"In their boat, in their vessel, they had firearms, they had guns, they had night vision gear and were boating very recklessly, which would potentially endanger other folks," the governor told reporters during a March 15 press conference.

Two among the 25 individuals aboard the boat were American citizens, both of whom were turned over to the Brevard County Sheriff's Office. DeSantis indicated the the Haitian migrants were turned over to the U.S. Coast Guard for deportation.

Bolstering defenses

Prior to publicly acknowledging the Feb. 29 incident, DeSantis announced that in anticipation of a flood of illegal aliens from Haiti, he had ordered additional state assets to the Florida Keys and the Sunshine State's southern waters.

"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 the governor. "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."

While the state already has a security presence in the area as part of Operation Vigilant Sentry, DeSantis' March 13 directive is sending additional personnel and assets to the area, including 39 additional officers from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement; 23 additional officers and eight seacraft from the FFWC; 48 additional soldiers and four more helicopters from the Florida National Guard; and 30 additional officers from the Florida Highway Patrol along with more drones and aircraft.

In addition to these reinforcements, the state will send up to 133 soldiers from the Florida State Guard to protect the Keys.

Days after issuing his directive, DeSantis ratified a triad of bills to make it more difficult for illegal aliens to get around the state: House Bill 1589, which increases penalties on individuals who operate a vehicle without a license; House Bill 1451, which prevents counties and cities from accepting identification cards issued to illegal aliens by other jurisdictions; and SB 1036, which enhances penalties for a crime committed by an illegal alien who was previously deported.

Giving sanctuaries what they asked for

In recent years, Texas, Florida, and other border states have sent illegal aliens packing to those Democrat-run municipalities that have branded themselves sanctuaries for those who would flout the laws of the land.

This campaign has been greatly successful, not only in giving northern cities a taste of what border states have long had to deal with, but in proving leftists' sanctuary rhetoric hollow. New York City Mayor Eric Adams, for instance, called last month for changes to the city's "sanctuary" policy. Chicago recently began evicting illegal aliens from its overwhelmed shelters.

DeSantis told conservative radio host Dana Loesch this week that the Sunshine State may begin busing illegal aliens from Haiti to Martha's Vineyard.

The Republican governor bused around 50 illegal aliens to Martha's Vineyard in 2022. The liberal enclave was quick to get rid of the migrants, who were whisked to a military base shortly after their arrival.

The governor told Loesch that if Haitians manage to get into Florida, the Sunshine State can't simply fly them back to Haiti "because the federal government is going to tell the host countries not to accept our planes."

"We really have to get them before they reach the shores, which is why we're working so hard to do that," said DeSantis. "Although I will say this, we do have our transport program, also, that's going to be operational. So, Haitians land in the Florida Keys, their next stop very well might be Martha's Vineyard."

Massachusetts — which has effectively been a sanctuary state since 2017 — is already overwhelmed by illegal aliens, and it's proving to be exceptionally costly.

Democratic Gov. Maura Healey's finance and housing secretaries indicated in December that the projected cost of sheltering migrants in fiscal year 2025 will be an estimated $915 million.

DeSantis also told Loesch that Florida will not be welcoming prospective waves of migrants from Haiti.

"I've got to defend my state," said the governor. "I've got enough issues just dealing with people fleeing from blue states moving into Florida."

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Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News.
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