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White House Blames DeSantis For Deploying National Guard To Deal With Cuban Migrants


WASHINGTON – Amid the implementation of its own controversial new program to deal with the flow of migrants across the US-Mexico border, the White House on Wednesday criticized Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida for deploying the National Guard to manage the arrival of undocumented immigrants from Cuba.

“We are talking about people who come from countries, who are facing political conflicts,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said during Wednesday’s press briefing. “They’re trying to find asylum – and he treats them like pawns.”

She accused DeSantis of “not fixing the problem. It actually creates a problem.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis at the Republican Jewish Coalition Nov. 19 in Las Vegas. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Last week, DeSantis deployed the National Guard to deal with what his office described as an “alarming influx of migrants landing in the Florida Keys,” though the role of the Guard is unclear.

According to the governor’s office, 300 migrants fleeing Cuba and other countries landed at Dry Tortugas National Park last week, and another 45 landed in Key West.

DeSantis’ office did not respond to a Yahoo News request for comment. But when he deployed the Guard, the governor lambasted the White House.

“As the negative impacts of Biden’s lawless immigration policies continue unabated, the burden of the Biden administration’s failure falls on local law enforcement who lack the resources to deal with the crisis,” did he declare.

The governor’s decision came after President Biden announced a new “conditional release” plan that would allow up to 30,000 migrants a month from Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Haiti to receive asylum in the United States, provided they apply from their home country via a smartphone app. without making a perilous overland journey to the border. The plan also includes an agreement by Mexico to accept 30,000 deportees from those countries apprehended in the United States.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre during a press briefing on Wednesday. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

In announcing his plan, Biden blamed congressional inaction for the lack of a comprehensive immigration reform plan. Although the president’s new parole plan has been criticized by progressives and conservatives alike, it reflects what the administration sees as a humane and orderly approach to a seemingly intractable problem.

On Wednesday, the White House was content to focus on DeSantis, who fought the Biden administration over pandemic-related measures like masking and vaccinations, and whom many liberals seem to view with the same antipathy as they were once reserved for the governor’s political benefactor, Donald Trump.

Immigration appears to be an intense point of contention between the two men, who could face each other in the presidential election next year (neither has declared his intention to run so far, but the two should do).

“We’ve seen Governor DeSantis do political stunts,” Jean-Pierre said Wednesday. She seemed to refer to an episode in September when DeSantis transported migrants who entered the United States without permission to Martha’s Vineyard, a liberal enclave.

She also accused the Florida governor of “mocking” Biden’s good faith attempts to at least partially resolve the migration crisis.

DeSantis is suing the Biden administration for not doing enough to stop the flow of unauthorized migrants into the United States. Proceedings in the case began earlier this week.

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