Florida officials are extremely concerned by the Trump administration’s alleged plan to release hundreds of migrants within upcoming weeks to two southern Florida counties that are primarily made up of Democratic residents, the Washington Post reports.
While the plans are not yet public, a window into Customs and Border Protection’s new proposal to deal with huge inflows of migrants was revealed on Thursday by officials in Palm Beach and Broward counties.
The decision has drawn criticism from both sides of the aisle. Florida Republican governor Ron DeSantis, along with both Democratic and Republican Florida federal lawmakers, questioned the decision to burden the two local jurisdictions without giving them any resources to feed, house, protect, and educate the newly arrived migrants.
"We want a better plan from our federal government,” said Haitian-born Democrat and Palm Beach County Mayor Mack Bernard. “We are not a border state.”
Officials in south Florida said that they were reportedly told by federal officials to expect an arrival of 135 asylum seekers twice a week—or roughly 500 people a month for each county.
Law enforcement officials briefed on the matter said that they were told to expect the arrivals to start within the next two weeks and that no end date was given.
Some speculate that the decision to send migrants to some of Florida’s most heavily Democratic areas with little to no financial assistance is a punitive measure.
“The blatant politics, sending them to the two most Democratic Counties in the state of Florida, is ridiculous,” said Democratic state senator Gary Farmer. “You can’t make this stuff up.”
Broward County Mayor and Democrat Mark Bogen warned that the decision to not provide aid to the two counties is a “humanitarian crisis.”
“We will do everything possible to help these people,” he said. “If the President will not provide us with financial assistance to house and feed these people, he will be creating a homeless encampment.”