decision 2022

Immigration Front and Center in Florida Governor's Race After Nuñez Comments

Democrats have seized on the comments in recent weeks as Nuñez and Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis run for re-election in November and face Democrat Charlie Crist and running mate Karla Hernandez-Mats

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Immigration continues to be front and center in the race for Florida governor following Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez's comments on a Miami Spanish-language radio show last month that Cuban migrants who arrived in the state illegally would be shipped to Delaware.

During an interview with 1040 AM Actualidad Radio, Nuñez was asked about the recent wave of migrants coming to Florida from Cuba and said the DeSantis administration would bus them to President Biden's home state.

"That's why the governor has worked with the legislature, to secure funding to make sure…that people that are coming illegally…that they don’t stay here with their arms crossed, thinking about what they will be able to do," she said. "We are going to send that person, frankly, to Delaware, the president’s home state."

Nuñez, who was born in Miami and is of Cuban descent, clarified her comments in a recent interview with NBC 6.

"It was a general discussion around illegal immigration not targeted at Cuban migrants," Nuñez said.

Regardless, Democrats have seized on the comments in recent weeks as Nuñez and Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis run for re-election in November and face Democrat Charlie Crist and running mate Karla Hernandez-Mats.

At a news conference Wednesday morning hosted by Democrats, Alicia Pelaez, who came to South Florida during Operation Pedro Pan, a deal between the American and Cuban governments to send about 15,000 unaccompanied minors from Cuba to the U.S. in the 1960s, denounced Nuñez's radio comments.

"Just her comments of sending the kids to Delaware is just a sarcastic comment that there is no use for, I worked with Jeanette Nuñez's parents and her sister, she was not like that in the past," Pelaez said.

DeSantis at his news conference Wednesday defended his lieutenant governor.

"It doesn't apply to refugees, I think they, Jeanette was talking about refugees, it applies to people illegally crossing the Southern border who want to come to Florida or come to Florida," DeSantis said.

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