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Mayors say feds plan to ship thousands of migrants to S. Florida. What do feds say? Zilch

Mayors say feds plan to ship thousands of migrants to S. Florida. What do feds say? Zilch

Postby smix » Fri May 17, 2019 4:58 pm

Mayors say feds plan to ship thousands of migrants to S. Florida. What do feds say? Zilch
Miami Herald

URL: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/ ... 79584.html
Category: Politics
Published: May 16, 2019

Description: Broward and Palm Beach County leaders reacted with alarm Thursday after being told that 1,000 migrants will be sent to those counties every month in order to alleviate a surge at the Mexican border. Broward leaders posted the news online Thursday, saying they were told by the federal government that “hundreds of immigrants will be arriving in Broward County on a weekly basis without designated shelters or funding to house them, feed them, and keep them safe.“ Broward Mayor Mark Bogen told the Herald that the Broward County Sheriff’s Office was given notice by U.S. Customs and Border Protection that 270 migrants will be flown in to Palm Beach and Broward every week starting in two weeks. That’s more than 1,000 a month. Is the plan for real? Or could it be a mind game by a president who has mused aloud about sending migrants to so-called sanctuary cities? Local officials were taking it seriously.

refugees_welcome_bring_your_families.png
The Border Crisis. Coming to a city near you!

The Miami Herald could not independently confirm the impending influx. U.S. Customs and Border Protection directed press inquiries to the Department of Homeland Security. Homeland Security directed all questions to Customs and Border Protection. It remained unclear Thursday whether the purported policy applies only to Broward and Palm Beach or to other areas around the nation, and if not, why not. Also, why Miami-Dade was seemingly not included. The move not only caught local officials off guard, but also Gov. Ron DeSantis, a staunch supporter of the president. “The governor’s office was not informed of this decision. Florida counties do not have the resources to accommodate an influx of illegal immigrants,” DeSantis said in a tweet. U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, a Democrat from Boca Raton, called it an example of the president’s “mean-spirited, ongoing effort to demonize immigrants and divide our country.“ Last month, after press reports that the administration had considered but rejected a proposal to ship freshly arrived migrants to so-called “sanctuary cities,” the administration initially denied the reports. But before a raucous, cheering crowd at a political rally, President Donald Trump said it was not just a proposal, but a policy, boasting that it was his own “sick idea.” Leaders say they are scrambling because local homeless shelters are full and there are no plans at any level of government to provide housing. “We’re expecting the creation of a massive homelessness problem,” Bogen said. “The administration is just dropping them off and saying ‘good luck.’ Then they expect our sheriff’s office to be a bus service. We are not a bus service.” It was unclear if Broward leaders were told to expect just adults or family units. Unaccompanied minors would apparently not be a part of the influx, since those populations are managed by the Department of Health and Human Services. “This is a humanitarian crisis. We will do everything possible to help these people. If the president will not provide us with financial assistance to house and feed these people, he will be creating a homeless encampment,” Bogen said, adding that “a sudden influx of immigrants will further strain Broward County’s social services and will cause further harm to immigrants who will be left here with no money, housing or basic knowledge of the area.” The county is currently reaching out to local charities, non-profits, and businesses for support. Bogen said the incoming migrants would be processed at U.S. Customs and Border Protection Offices in the two counties — in Dania Beach and West Palm Beach. Republican Sen. Marco Rubio said he was told by local law enforcement that once processed, they will be released into the community pending an asylum hearing.
Unlawful arrivals are overwhelming our system. Now I have just been informed by #PalmBeach Sheriff that starting next week Border Patrol will begin transporting 500 migrants a month from border to #Broward & PalmBeach #Florida, & releasing them pending an asylum hearing #Sayfie
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) May 16, 2019

Mack Bernard, the Palm Beach County mayor, said the responsibility of caring for migrant families should not be shifted to South Florida communities. “If so many people are coming to Palm Beach County we may have to declare a national emergency because they will spread us thin,” Bernard said, noting that the city is already wrestling with its own homelessness problem. “The burden that will affect us will be humongous, specifically our school system. We are not a border state. We are the state of Florida.” The news was striking for the exclusion of Miami-Dade from the announced flights, skipping Florida’s most populous county and the one most accustomed to absorbing large influxes, including the Mariel exodus from Cuba in 1980 and smaller subsequent ones that collectively transformed the county. Of the three South Florida counties, only Miami-Dade complied with Trump’s demands early in his administration to end so-called “sanctuary” policies for undocumented immigrants. Days after Trump took office, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez ordered local jails to resume accepting detainer requests from immigration officers. The requests apply to people booked at a jail on an unrelated local charge who are also being sought by immigration agents for potential deportation. The detainer requests ask local law enforcement to incarcerate the person an additional 48 hours in order to give ICE agents a window to take the person into custody. Gimenez’s policy switch, later endorsed by the Miami-Dade Commission, drew public praise from Trump on the presidential Twitter feed. In August 2017, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions flew to Miami to congratulate the county, saying a “sanctuary city” is “a trafficker, smuggler, or a predator’s best friend.” It was at a campaign rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin, that the president announced his plan to ship migrants from the border to sanctuary jurisdictions. “Last month alone, 100,000 illegal immigrants arrived at our borders, placing a massive strain on communities and schools and hospitals and public resources like nobody’s ever seen before,” Trump said on April 29. “Now we’re sending many of them to sanctuary cities, thank you very much. They’re not too happy about it. I’m proud to tell you that was actually my sick idea, by the way. No. Hey, hey, what did they say? ‘We want them.’ I said: ‘We’ll give them to you. Thank you.’ They said, ‘We don’t want them.’ ” On Monday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced it was taking the unusual step of flying migrants to less crowded locations for processing. According to the Associated Press, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement manages the flights at a cost of $6,000 each.
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Broward and Palm Beach counties bracing for planeloads of immigrants from crowded U.S. camps

Postby smix » Fri May 17, 2019 5:27 pm

Broward and Palm Beach counties bracing for planeloads of immigrants from crowded U.S. camps
Sun Sentinel

URL: https://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/polit ... story.html
Category: Politics
Published: May 16, 2019

Description: The Trump administration is preparing to move hundreds of immigrants from overcrowded camps along the U.S. border to Broward and Palm Beach counties, local officials said Thursday. Broward Mayor Mark Bogen and Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said they were told to expect two planeloads of immigrants each week, starting in about two weeks. The 270 weekly passengers — about 1,000 each month — would be split, with half going to Palm Beach County and half to Broward. Confusion and disbelief swirled late Thursday around the reports, which were not confirmed or acknowledged by the Trump administration. Local members of Congress, Florida’s two Republican senators and even Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said they didn’t know about it. “The governor’s office was not informed of this decision,” his spokeswoman said in an email. “Florida counties do not have the resources to accommodate an influx of illegal immigrants.” In an afternoon news conference organized after the news broke, Sheriff Bradshaw said the Miami border patrol operations chief “came up” to talk to him about it earlier this week. Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony, a DeSantis appointee, also said he was advised, but not by border patrol. In an email, Tony said the information, which “was also shared with me by my trusted colleague” Bradshaw, was not confirmed by state or federal officials. He said he passed it on to Bogen so Broward could be prepared, and is “currently awaiting a scheduled calendar meeting with my County Commissioners.” The immigrants are families who crossed the border illegally into El Paso, Texas, and who indicated they were Florida-bound, Bradshaw said. They will be processed at U.S. Customs and Border Protection Offices in Dania Beach and in Riviera Beach, and released into the community, expected to return for hearings, he said. The federal government isn’t offering to help, he said. “No accommodations for transportation leaving there. No accommodations for shelter or a place to live. Just no real plan what is going to happen to these people,” Bradshaw said. Housing, food, health care and schooling for the children will be up to local communities, he and Bogen said. “I asked if there was an end date to this and they said no,” Bradshaw said in the news conference. There was no mention of immigrants being transferred to Miami-Dade or any other Florida county. Palm Beach County Mayor Mack Bernard said that the county would do what it could to help and would demand reimbursement from the federal government. He said a state of emergency might need to be declared. Commissioner Melissa McKinlay said the federal government should provide funds upfront to care for the migrants. She questioned the logic of the plan. “I have grave concerns about placing families in Florida less than three weeks prior to the start of hurricane season," Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay said. "This is poor planning on the part of the Trump administration.” The inundation could overwhelm communities already grappling with a growing homeless population. Mayor Bogen said Broward would “do everything possible to help these people,” and would call on nonprofits, businesses and charities to take people in. But he called the idea “irresponsible” and said immigrants could be left homeless. If so, Bogen said, "I would suggest that we bring them to the Trump hotels and ask the president to open his heart and home as well.” U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-West Boca, said he was hesitant to address reports of the immigrant transfers, because “no one in the administration seems to know what is happening.” He was among the local members of Congress who denounced the idea and asked for a briefing. Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio sent a letter Thursday to the Department of Homeland Security asking if there are plans to transfer migrants to states that don’t border Mexico, and if so, to where. He asked how the destination cities or counties were chosen and whether the department had let them know so they could prepare. “It is clear the current situation is untenable and the Department is faced with difficult choices given the lack of resources appropriated to secure our nation’s southern border,” he wrote. As border crossings surge, the U.S. government has begun moving migrants out of the border camps to be processed elsewhere. The Associated Press reported on Monday that U.S. Customs and Border Protection was taking the rare step of flying migrants to less crowded locations for processing. The flights are managed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement at a cost of $6,000 each. The Trump administration confirmed in mid-April that it was exploring ways to send undocumented immigrants to “sanctuary cities” — cities seen as flouting U.S. immigration law to protect people from deportation. Broward and Palm Beach counties are both Democratic strongholds. Neither considers itself a sanctuary for illegal immigrants, though they sometimes are labeled as such. In an April 12 Tweet, the president said, “Due to the fact that Democrats are unwilling to change our very dangerous immigration laws, we are indeed, as reported, giving strong considerations to placing Illegal Immigrants in Sanctuary Cities only....” “We hope it is not politically motivated, and they shouldn’t shift a crisis at the border to Palm Beach County,” Bernard said. Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis echoed that: “It would be disappointing to think that our federal administration would be using victims of poverty and despair as pawns in a game that has become more political than substantive.” The Florida Legislature recently passed a bill banning sanctuary cities. All state agencies and local governments would be required to respond to detainer requests from federal immigration enforcement officials of suspected illegal immigrants in their custody. Gov. DeSantis has said he supports such a ban but has not yet signed the bill. Sanctuary policies have been a political lightning rod throughout the country in recent years. Ten states have passed laws favoring them, and nine have adopted laws to restrict them or ban them, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Both Broward and Palm Beach counties stopped honoring immigration detention requests involving inmates after a 2014 court ruling. That ruling said jails would be violating inmates’ civil rights if they held them beyond their release dates without a signed judge’s order. Miami-Dade does honor the federal government’s requests to detain people.
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Trump plans to release thousands of migrants in two Democratic strongholds, Florida officials say

Postby smix » Fri May 17, 2019 6:24 pm

Trump plans to release thousands of migrants in two Democratic strongholds, Florida officials say
The Washington Post

URL: https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2 ... k-el-paso/
Category: Politics
Published: May 17, 2019

Description: Florida officials are raising alarm and pressing for details about the purported intention of the Trump administration to send hundreds of immigrants a week to two heavily Democratic counties in South Florida. Customs and Border Protection has not publicly disclosed its plans. But a partial picture of a new approach to managing a record influx of immigrants at the southern border came into view on Thursday based on the accounts of local leaders in Broward and Palm Beach counties. Even allies of the president were nonplussed. The state’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, joined federal lawmakers from Florida — Republicans and Democrats alike — in questioning the apparent effort to foist the immigration and asylum burden on two local jurisdictions without equipping them with the resources to house, feed, educate and protect new arrivals. "We want a better plan from our federal government,” Palm Beach County Mayor Mack Bernard, a Haitian-born Democrat, said at a news conference. “We are not a border state.” As arrests at the border continue to increase — threatening to derail the immigration agenda that has formed the cornerstone of President Trump’s domestic policy — South Florida officials said they have been told to expect the arrival twice a week of 135 asylum seekers, rerouted from the El Paso area. That is equivalent to about 1,000 people per month, divided between the two counties. Law enforcement briefed on the plans said the arrivals were set to begin within the next two weeks and that no end date had been set. They said they still hoped federal authorities would reverse course. Neither Border Protection nor its parent agency, the Department of Homeland Security, returned a request for comment. The alarm was sounded by officials in Florida on the same day that Trump publicly appealed to Congress to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws, primarily by prioritizing the skills of newcomers. The trepidation, however, came in response to developments behind the scenes, several weeks after Trump embraced a strategy of filling sanctuary cities with immigrants who lack papers. He called the proposition, rejected by Immigration and Customs Enforcement as inappropriate, his “sick idea.” Broward and Palm Beach Counties lie next to one another on the state’s Atlantic coast. Neither has sanctuary status limiting cooperation with immigration authorities — a status that would be outlawed under a measure recently advanced by the state legislature. But the counties are among Florida’s most reliably Democratic jurisdictions, leading the president’s critics to speculate that he was setting his punitive program into motion. “The blatant politics, sending them to the two most Democratic Counties in the state of Florida, is ridiculous,” Gary Farmer, a Democratic state senator representing part of Broward County, told Politico. “You can’t make this stuff up.” Each of the counties has a sizable Hispanic population, though not as large as in Miami-Dade, which is the state’s most populous county. Miami-Dade is also a center of the state’s Republican-aligned Cuban voting bloc, which delivered for Trump in 2016. The swath of South Florida comprising Broward and Palm Beach counties is host to a number of Border Patrol stations, including one in West Palm Beach where authorities said the migrants would be processed, given a notice to appear and then released. Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said at a news conference on Thursday that he had been informed of the plans earlier this week by a Border Patrol chief based in Miami. Bradshaw said the migrants were characterized to him as “family units.” Having conveyed his concerns to members of Florida’s congressional delegation, the law enforcement officer said he had a call in to acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney to raise objections to what he knew of the approach. “No accommodations for shelter or a place to live,” Bradshaw said. “Just no real plan on what’s going to happen to these 500 people every month that’s going to come to Palm Beach County and be released into our community.” The sheriff said he was worried about the criminal backgrounds of the immigrants, as well as about the ability of public and charitable institutions to cope with the new arrivals. “We think it’s a danger to this community,” he said. Broward County Mayor Mark D. Bogen, a Democrat and a practicing attorney, framed the issue differently, warning of a “humanitarian crisis.” “We will do everything possible to help these people,” he said in a news release. “If the President will not provide us with financial assistance to house and feed these people, he will be creating a homeless encampment.” Citing the president’s threat to “send people who illegally cross the border to communities that are considered immigrant friendly,” the mayor called the plans “inhumane.” And he issued a threat of his own, saying that the county should bring those who couldn’t find shelter “to the Trump hotels and ask the President to open his heart and home as well.” Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort is located in Palm Beach County. Local officials stressed that they had not been consulted before the plans were announced to them. They said they had not yet taken any formal action to resist the burden, but Palm Beach County’s mayor said it was possible an emergency would need to be declared to free up the necessary resources. He envisioned a scenario in which tent encampments would be required. State and federal officials also weighed in. An aide to DeSantis, who is a close ally of the president’s, told Florida public radio that the governor’s office had not been informed of the decision. “Florida counties do not have the resources to accommodate an influx of illegal immigrants,” the aide said. Republican Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) sent a letter on Thursday to Kevin McAleenan, the acting Homeland Security secretary, asking him to respond to nine questions “prior to authorizing or scheduling” any movements of migrants into the two counties. The questions addressed the rationale for the movements, as well as their scope. The lawmaker asked whether federal authorities had coordinated with local officials to ready the communities for new arrivals. Democrats in Congress representing the two counties, including Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Ted Deutch, also said they had asked the administration to clarify its plans. Unease about the idea united factions of various ideological stripes, underscoring the president’s failure to marshal support for his immigration agenda on either side of the aisle. Ann Coulter, the far-right commentator and onetime Trump booster, said the Florida reroute would give the president a new reelection slogan: “The Border Crisis. Coming to a City Near you!”
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