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Plan to ship immigrants to South Florida called off — for now

Customs and Border Protection won’t transport individuals ‘at this time.’

A plan to ship hundreds of migrants each month to South Florida is off for now, according to a media report.

“We are not transporting any family units to Florida at this time,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokeswoman Stephanie Malin told POLITICO in an email.

But the outlet said the future remains unclear.

“We are looking at processing capacity for U.S. Border Patrol sectors across the nation,” Malin said.

The delay of the controversial plan comes after days of bipartisan criticism and confusion.

Palm Beach Sheriff Ric Bradshaw told U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio CBP planned to release as many as 500 migrants each month in both Palm Beach and Broward counties.

Rubio sent a letter Thursday to the Homeland Security Department Thursday demanding answers to several questions. But he also alluded to crisis levels of immigrants coming to the Mexico-U. S. border

“Customs & Border Protection is being overwhelmed by an unprecedented flow of asylum-seekers on our border,” Rubio tweeted.

Gov. Ron DeSantis was caught off guard by plans from President Donald Trump’s administration. The Governor said counties could not handle such an “influx of illegal immigrants” and the related drain on public resources.

The move incited an expected barrage of criticism from Democratic leaders in the two deep blue counties. But it has also drawn sharp rebukes by some of Trump’s closest Florida allies including U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz and Republican Party of Florida Chair Joe Gruters.

Trump in April threatened to send an overflow of migrants crossing the border to “sanctuary cities.” Many read the plans to fly migrants hundreds of miles into heavily Democratic counties to be a follow-through on that threat.

But neither Palm Beach nor Broward counties ever claimed that moniker or adopted a “sanctuary” policy.

The Florida Legislature just passed a controversial ban prohibiting any Florida community from adopting a “sanctuary” posture. That legislation awaits DeSantis’ signature. Gruters was the legislation’s Senate sponsor.

The legislation requires cooperation between Florida law enforcement and federal immigration officials.

Written By

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at jacobogles@hotmail.com.

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