Q&A of the Day – How Many Illegal Immigrants Has the Biden Administration Sent to Florida?
Each day I feature a listener question sent by one of these methods.
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Today’s entry: Submitted via talkback – asking about the number of illegal immigrants sent into Florida by the Biden administration.
Bottom Line: It’s a great question and frankly one Governor DeSantis would like to know. There are so many layers to this onion to peel back which provide some answers, but that still leaves us in a position to where we don’t know what we don’t know which has been considerable. In discussing how we arrived at the point where Governor DeSantis flew 48 illegal immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard, I discussed the initial discovery of illegal immigrants being flown and bused into Florida by the Biden administration without any notice to state and local officials. The state first caught wind of this having happened November 6th of last year and Governor DeSantis first addressed it publicly four days later. That was when he mentioned in a presser that if the Biden administration continued to send illegal immigrants here, he’d bus them to Delaware. As I pointed out on Friday, that wasn’t possible at the time because money had to be allocated by the state legislature in order for the governor to relocate illegal immigrants who’d been sent here. That’s why he requested $12 million in this year’s legislative session for these purposes, which he received. Those funds first became available to him with the state’s new budget year – July 1st.
Those who’d watched this issue most closely began to wonder why DeSantis hadn’t joined Texas and Arizona in busing illegals to sanctuary locations across the country once he had the opportunity to do so. On August 23rd DeSantis addressed the question when he said: Texas is taking people. Biden has not sent anyone to us since we got that (the funds for the relocation program). He does send children all across the country in the middle of the night and dumps them all over the United States, which I think is very reckless. We have not had buses coming in, we have had people trickle in. I think because of what Texas has done, that has actually taken a lot of pressure off us.
Right, so that sheds light on multiple fronts. First, we see that the Biden administration was paying attention to Florida’s active monitoring of their efforts to covertly relocate illegal immigrants into Florida. They also were evidently aware that as of July DeSantis would have the resources to relocate illegals and either stopped sending the illegals into Florida, or changed tactics. Using DeSantis’ words, we’ve had people “trickle” in, as opposed to buses and planes full of illegal immigrants as had been happening previously. It appears that Florida’s move to fund illegal relocations had a preemptive effect of the Biden administration not presenting DeSantis with the opportunity within Florida to do something like what he ended up doing. This aspect of the story also helps explain why the state relocated illegals from within Texas to Martha’s Vineyard as opposed to from within Florida. It’s clear DeSantis wanted to make the point about the recklessness of the open border, however the Biden administration was attempting to make it more challenging for him to do. Thus, the effort to travel to Texas to find illegal immigrants with desired intent to come to Florida. As for how many the Biden administration had sent to Florida?
In reality we have no idea just how many illegal immigrants have been brought into Florida by the Biden administration. The administration has refused to provide information to numerous requests from the State of Florida and news organizations alike. The only information that’s known is what was specifically tracked as part of an investigation in Jacksonville late last year. You may recall an illegal immigrant who’d lied about his age, claiming to be 17 to US authorities, murdered a Jacksonville businesses owner. He was flown as part of the Biden administration's relocation program. As part of the investigation prosecutors were able to subpoena records showing 70 flights with 36 migrants per flight, were flown into Jacksonville as of last November. So officially, we’re aware of 2,520 illegals brought in by President Biden. But of course, that was only by air and only at one airport, and only as of last November. There’s simply no telling how many have been bused in or flown into other airports, though it’s known that’s happened across the state. We do have a broad idea of the overall illegal immigrant population, or “unauthorized” as they’re officially categorized.
As of the most recent assessment by the Migration Policy Institute, there are an estimated 772,000 “unauthorized” people living in Florida. That’s the equivalent to 3.6% of our state’s overall population. The top five countries of origin for those unlawfully living in Florida are Mexico, Venezuela, Guatemala, Honduras and Columbia. While people of all ages are here – the most common undocumented migrant is a 30-year-old unmarried male. Florida has about 7% of the illegal population nationally. Using that information, if that were to continue to remain the case based on the levels of illegal immigrants being processed at the border, it's possible Florida has or eventually will have taken in another 119,300+ undocumented migrants.