Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis responded to what he called the Biden administration's refusal to get a handle on the latest front of the migrant surge – the seas.
DeSantis told "Tucker Carlson Tonight" Biden is "leaving the Coast Guard out to dry" as it tries to help the state grapple with the flood of migrants attempting to cross the Straits of Florida from Cuba or Haiti. Earlier this month, the White House accused DeSantis of engaging a "political stunt" by activating the National Guard to neutralize the migrant influx in Florida.
"He's not sending any more vessels; any more support. They don't have enough to intercept all the boats that are trying to come primarily from Cuba, but also from Haiti," DeSantis said, adding that, like Texas law enforcement at America's southern border, Florida authorities are forced to compensate for insufficient federal action.
Tallahassee is engaging in "reconnaissance" and alerting the Coast Guard when boats are spotted; stopping them and working with the USCG to handle the migrants.
He noted that the flood of illegal immigrants has gotten so intense at times, it caused the federal government to temporarily close Dry Tortugas National Park – a remote archipelago marked by a fort 70 miles west of Key West that is popular with tourists.
The park reopened to public access January 8, according to its Twitter page.
DeSantis said the state of Florida is also helping homeowners who find migrant skiffs washed up on their property, covering residents' fees.
"I think we've seen a decline in the number of vessels that are in the water. We have not had as many landings, actually very few lately," he said of the state's most recent efforts. "So it is working as a deterrent, but it's our sense that they're going to start trying to change their tactics. So we're going to be watching and we're going to be responding in kind."
DeSantis added he further suspects the strongman government of Miguel Diaz-Canel in Cuba may be orchestrating some of the surge and alleged human smuggling efforts. Diaz-Canel is the first non-Castro leader of post-revolutionary Cuba.
Key West itself is often noted for being "closer to Cuba than Walmart" – given its position 90 miles north of the former and 130 miles south of the nearest outpost of the latter in Homestead.
"So not only is this not good for the Florida Keys to have people dumped on their property, some of these people that are on these boats are being mistreated," he said.
DeSantis also discussed his efforts to prevent Chinese Communist Party-linked land purchases in Florida.
He said the CCP will likely employ "shell companies" to avoid suspicion, adding he hopes to put a system in place to "scrutinize" the situation.
"But why would we want them buying farmland? They had very little farmland in the United States even 10 years ago. Now they have significant holdings, not as much in Florida, but you do have it in other parts of the country," he said.
"Why would we want the CCP to own land near a military base or own critical infrastructure? So we're looking for a flat ban."