Gaetz Meets With Coast Guard on Florida Border Crisis

Gaetz Meets With Coast Guard on Florida Border Crisis

Grayson Bakich
Grayson Bakich
June 28, 2023

While coverage of the migrant and border crisis is focused primarily on the U.S.-Mexico border, many migrants also come by sea, Florida being a common destination. Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) joined the U.S. Coast Guard to witness what he called "the forgotten invasion."

"In Washington, people are always talking about the U.S. Mexico Border but in a lot of ways what we see here in Florida is the forgotten invasion," Rep. Gaetz told CBS12.

Rep. Gaetz suggested Florida's attractiveness as a destination for migrants is "by virtue of our geography," such as the Florida Straits and the Bimini Passageway.

In October, Vice covered the role of the Bahamas' Bimini Island, which sits 52 miles from Florida, as a hub for human trafficking, with migrants coming primarily from Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti. Additionally, wealthier migrants, some coming from as far off as Asia and Russia, use yachts to blend in with tour boats.

Early in May, Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) spoke of his efforts in aiding the U.S. Coast Guard to intercept migrant boats, counting 11,000 repatriations from August to May. However, he noted a Federal response would be necessary to address the issue adequately.

Gaetz similarly criticized the lack of Federal aid, demanding assistance in collecting information and repelling further crossing attempts.

"The problem is that we don’t yet have Department of Defense assets to be able to really integrate not only the intelligence that we gather but the deterrence," Gaetz continued.

In February, Gaetz visited Yuma, Arizona. Witnessing the terrestrial border crisis firsthand, Gaetz slammed the Biden Administration as "intent on turning the border into a turnstile."

"We have an administration intent on turning the border into a turnstile and a Senate that’s not intent on doing much of anything," said Gaetz.

His most recent trip with the Coast Guard comes hot on the heels of Gov. DeSantis' recent Presidential campaign ad addressing the border crisis and calls to end birthright citizenship.

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Grayson Bakich

Grayson Bakich

Florida born and raised, Grayson Bakich is a recent recipient of a Master’s Degree in Political Science at the University of Central Florida. His thesis examined recent trends in political polarization and how this leads into justification of violence.

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