Monday, January 16, 2023

DeSantis Hits Back at WH Over National Guard Deployment

DeSantis Hits Back at WH Over National Guard Deployment

AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell

KEY WEST, Fla. — Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) fired back at the Biden administration after White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said activating the Florida National Guard in response to the increase number of illegal boat landings was another political stunt.

"We have seen Governor DeSantis do political stunts. That is how he perceives to fix this issue from Florida," Jean-Pierre said at a press briefing on Wednesday. "We’re talking about people coming from countries who are dealing with political strife, who are dealing with issues where they’re trying to find asylum. And he treats them like pawns."

"So we have called that out, over and over again. And we will continue to do that," she added.

When asked about the latest comments from the Biden administration, DeSantis pointed out it his latest order to activate elements of the National Guard was because the U.S. Coast Guard asked the state for help dealing with the number of illegal boat landings.

"Well I think it's interesting because the Coast Guard actually requested the state's assistance to handle all of these vessels coming. But what I think we've done, and we've been very aggressive across the board, at mitigated the damage from Biden's disastrous border policy," DeSantis said.

DeSantis further said the state will start picking up the bill for when boats land on private property, as state law currently says the land owner has to pay to remove the boat, not allowing it to drift off into the ocean.

"We are gonna clear the vessels free of charge for those residents because it wasn't their fault - maybe we'll send the bill to Biden."

DeSantis' emergency declaration was signed last week and it will last for fewer than 60 days. More law enforcement and National Guardsmen, mainly aviation units, will help the Coast Guard and Border Patrol interdict those who are attempting to land in Florida.

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