DeSantis Warns Illegal Immigrants Arriving in DC Not to Go to Florida

By Katabella Roberts
Katabella Roberts
Katabella Roberts
Katabella Roberts is a reporter currently based in Turkey. She covers news and business for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States.
April 14, 2022 Updated: April 14, 2022

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on April 13 warned illegal aliens not to try to travel to the Sunshine State after a group of illegal immigrants who were placed on a bus to Washington, D.C., from Texas said they planned to travel to Miami.

The bus carrying a group of 23 illegal immigrants from Colombia, Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua, had been chartered by the Texas Department of Emergency Management under the orders of the state’s governor, Greg Abbott, as part of the Republican’s strategy in response to the Biden administration’s decision to end Title 42 expulsions.

Fox News reported that the illegal immigrants had said they planned to travel onward to Miami, likely via train, after arriving in Washington—a plan that DeSantis opposes.

The Executive Office of the Governor of Florida responded with a statement warning the illegal aliens not to travel to his state, adding that those who do will struggle with a life that is “not easy.”

“To those who have entered the country illegally, fair warning: Do not come to Florida. Life will not be easy for you, because we are obligated to uphold the immigration laws of this country, even if our federal government and other states won’t,” DeSantis’s office told Fox News.

“Florida is not a sanctuary state, and our social programs are designed to serve the citizens of our state. The governor will protect the sovereignty of the state of Florida.”

The warning from the Florida governor came after Abbott announced during a press conference on April 6 that his authorities would be providing “voluntary transportation” via charter buses or flights to transport illegal immigrants released from federal custody into Texas to Washington, D.C.

Epoch Times Photo
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in Conroe, Texas, on Jan. 29, 2022. (Go Nakamura/Reuters)

At the time, Abbott said his state on the southern border had been “overwhelmed by hordes of illegal immigrants who are being dropped off by the Biden administration.”

“We are sending [the illegal immigrants] to the United States capital where the Biden administration will be able to more immediately address the needs of the people that they are allowing to come across our border,” Abbott told reporters.

Abbott noted that only those illegal immigrants who volunteer will be transported and that they must present documentation showing that they have been processed by the Department of Homeland Security.

The voluntary transportation of the illegal immigrants came in response to the Biden administration announcing it would lift the Trump-era Title 42 policy.

Under that policy, Border Patrol agents were allowed to turn most illegal aliens back to Mexico immediately if they posed a health threat amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shortly after President Joe Biden took office in 2021, the United States stopped expelling unaccompanied minors, alleging that it was cruel and inhumane to do so.

Last month, the head of Border Patrol, Raul Ortiz, warned that the United States is on track to reach more than 1 million illegal alien encounters so far in the fiscal year 2022.

With the Biden administration’s decision to end Title 42 expulsions, Border Patrol agents and local officials along the border are now preparing for an even greater influx of illegal immigrants.

As the migrants were dropped off between Union Station and the U.S. Capitol on April 13, Abbott in a statement accused the federal government of turning a “blind eye” to the border crisis, noting that “the State of Texas will remain steadfast in our efforts to fill in the gaps and keep Texans safe.”

“By busing migrants to Washington, D.C., the Biden Administration will be able to more immediately meet the needs of the people they are allowing to cross our border. Texas should not have to bear the burden of the Biden Administration’s failure to secure our border,” Abbott said.

DeSantis on April 13 also took aim at the Biden administration for putting illegal immigrants making the journey to the United States at risk.

“If you have come here illegally, you have been done a great disservice by the Biden administration. They have encouraged you to make dangerous treks, oftentimes at great physical distress to you and your family. Sometimes this has even meant putting your fate into the hands of dangerous coyotes and human traffickers,” he said.

Katabella Roberts is a reporter currently based in Turkey. She covers news and business for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States.