Lawmakers approve additional refugee aid after ‘Remain in Mexico’ influx

Haitian refugees
The state needs five times as much cash to aid refugees.

State lawmakers have approved an additional $33.3 million in federal funds to provide cash assistance to the increasing number of arriving refugees.

The Joint Legislative Budget Commission on Tuesday OK’d the Department of Children and Families to spend those funds through the Refugee Cash Assistance Program. That program grants cash for up to eight months to new refugees who are ineligible for Temporary Aid for Needy Families benefits.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services fully funds the Refugee Cash Assistance Program, leaving no additional cost to the state.

DCF Director of Budget, Finance and Accounting Chad Barrett told lawmakers the funding would “support the increase in newly arriving refugees entering the state of Florida.”

The Legislature had previously given DCF the authority to spend $6.7 million through the Refugee Cash Assistance Program. But with the estimated number of recipients for the current fiscal year hitting nearly 150,000, DCF will need $39.3 million to offer cash to the eligible recipients, pentuple the original allocation.

Between October 2020 and June 2021, most refugees arriving in Florida came from Cuba, Haiti and Venezuela. However, Florida is seeing more refugees after President Joe Biden‘s administration suspended the “Remain in Mexico” policy, which keeps asylum applicants waiting in Mexico.

However, the U.S. Supreme Court in August ordered the Biden administration to reinstate that policy.

“It is unclear at this time whether the trend of eligible arrivals will continue at the same rate or if the recent increase reflects a short-term change,” according to DCF and the Governor’s Office’s budget amendment request.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has railed against the Biden administration for undoing immigration policies instituted under former President Donald Trump. Among the suspended policies he has linked to increased crime is the “Remain in Mexico” policy.

Earlier Thursday, DeSantis criticized the Biden administration for relocating to Florida people who came to the country illegally without notifying the state. He called the move reckless and wrong and said he would ask the Legislature to seek ways to curb that federal policy.

DeSantis’ critiques came off the heels of a New York Post report that a 24-year old Honduran immigrant, Yery Noel Medina Ulloa, who told authorities he was 17 when entering the country, killed a Jacksonville man who gave him a place to stay.

“Should have never been in this country to begin with and definitely should not have been dumped in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said. “These are middle of the night flights, no notification to the state or anybody. This is not the way you keep people safe.”

Renzo Downey

Renzo Downey covers state government for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.


8 comments

  • PeterH

    November 4, 2021 at 5:09 pm

    The majority of America’s refugees are coming from Iraq and Afghanistan. America’s wars have consequences beyond lost American soldier lives and disabilities. Our tax money will be paying for the consequences of this failed nation building exercise for the next three decades.

    Any whining from DeSantis is strictly political red meat for his deplorable racist base.

  • Bennett Marco

    November 4, 2021 at 6:20 pm

    We need to repopulate the country with undocumented immigrants and deport the rethugs, insurrectionists, rednecks, and various other dumb ass red raw trumpists and white supremacists.

    • Jim Fox

      November 4, 2021 at 9:07 pm

      It’s because of socialist dumbazzs like this is why the country is in the position it’s in now. Get ready to be taxed.

  • Ken

    November 4, 2021 at 9:00 pm

    Know who you do business with. The following companies support, fund, Joe Biden, the Democrat party, BLM and other far left organizations. Financial BOYCOTT whenever possible the following socialist enablers. Patriots, pass this along….

    AFLAC
    Amazon
    American Airlines
    American Express
    Amway
    Apple
    AT&T
    Bank of America
    Baskin Robbins
    Best Buy
    Carl’s Jr.
    Capital One
    Chase
    Cigna
    Cisco
    Coca-Cola
    Corona Beer
    Dell Technologies
    Deloitte
    Delta Airlines
    Discover Financial Services
    Discovery channel
    Discovery Plus
    Dunkin Donuts
    ESPN
    Estee Lauder
    Facebook
    Fed-Ex
    Ford Motor Co.
    General Motors
    Google
    Goldman Sachs
    IBM
    Jack in the Box
    Johnson & Johnson
    JetBlue
    Kohls
    Levi Strauss & Co
    Little Caesars
    Lowes Hardware
    MasterCard
    Merck
    Microsoft
    Modello Beer
    NBA
    Nerd Wallet
    Netflix
    NFL
    Nordstrom
    Nurtec
    MLB
    Pacifico Beer
    Oxygen
    OWN
    PayPal
    PBS
    Peloton
    Pinterest
    Reddit
    Rocket Mortgage
    Sonic Rest.
    Starbucks
    State Farm Insurance
    Synchrony
    Target Stores
    The General Insurance
    TBS
    TNT
    Tripadvisor
    Twitter
    United Airlines
    US Bank
    USA today
    Vanguard
    Varo Bank
    Verizon
    ViacomCBS
    Vivint
    Walgreens
    Wayfair
    Wells Fargo
    Wendy’s
    WNBA

  • Hazzzer

    November 5, 2021 at 11:58 pm

    Wow Joe Biden is using illegals, and weaponizing them. Taking local resources from natives, Creating more problems for the Opposite party that is in power. That is dirty Obama style politics for sure.

Comments are closed.


#FlaPol

Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Jason Delgado, Renzo Downey, Daniel Figueroa, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Kelly Hayes, Joe Henderson, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Andrew Wilson, Mike Wright, and Tristan Wood.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704




Sign up for Sunburn


Categories