U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials say a miscommunication is to blame for South Florida officials being led to believe that an influx of immigrants would soon be sent to the Sunshine State by the federal government from the U.S.-Mexico border.
CBP officials said Friday that the plan to fly immigrants to South Florida is part of a broader contingency plan to deal with the border crisis, but that no such flights would be arriving imminently.
The cities under consideration under the plan have border patrol presence already, so they will be coastal or northern border cities, CBP officials said. Officials stressed that they were still in the preliminary stages of the planning.
Unless conditions ease at the border, some immigrants may still make their way to South Florida.
On Thursday, Broward and Palm Beach county officials said they were notified by U.S. Border Patrol that about 1,000 migrants per month would be sent to the two counties starting in about two weeks.
The federal government has run out of space to process the thousands of migrants who have been arriving at the Texas border, forcing them to fly migrants to Border Patrol facilities in other locations for processing. Once processed, they are released and given a court date in a city where they plan to reside, often with family members. That could be anywhere in the U.S., including going to the Latino communities of South Florida.
For migrants arriving in Broward and Palm Beach, some may ultimately intend to go to cities outside of South Florida or even out of state. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Friday that the plan concerned him.
"We cannot accommodate in Florida just dumping unlawful migrants into our state. I think it will tax our resources, the schools, the health care, law enforcement, state agencies," DeSantis said.