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South Florida sounds off on DeSantis' relocation of migrants

Ron DeSantis
Posted at 4:05 PM, Sep 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-20 17:29:21-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — It’s an election year and many in the Latino community are sharing opinions about how that puts immigration front and center.

The question WPTV posed to the local community on Monday: do you support the governor’s move to divert migrant flights to another state?

It wasn’t so long ago when Danyel Daniele feared being deported back to Venezuela.

"It just good to now be able to have my voice heard," Daniele said.

Brought to the U.S. by his mother when he was just 3 years old, Daniele for many years, was a DACA recipient, waiting for a path to citizenship.

Now a U.S. citizen, he calls the governor's actions to move migrants to other states shameful.

"It feels like they are playing with migrants' lives," Daniele said.

Border Patrol reports so far this year, 2.1 million migrants have crossed the southwest border. Gov. Ron DeSantis has said 40% expressed their desire to come to Florida.

"We're talking 40% of 2 million. Wo we have to understand why perhaps our governor is taking these actions, and I really do believe it's time to take this issue out of politics," said immigration attorney Aileen Walborsky.

Walborsky works with Guatemalans who settled in Palm Beach County at the Esperanza Center in West Palm Beach. She’s told by migrants seeking services that word is out in the northern triangle of Central America that they can get asylum at the U.S./Texas border.

"I know that they’re advertising on the radio in Guatemala, if you come with a kid, I’ll get you to Los Angeles, I’ll get you to Florida," Walborsky said. "We have a lot of stories here of children that are not even the children of those being brought."

Daniele said it's disheartening to learn the migrants seeking asylum may have been lured out of the state with promises of jobs, housing, and help

"You’re coming here as a migrant, you probably only have one suitcase, one bag over your shoulder, your whole life is within arm’s reach. So vulnerability, completely 100%," Daniele said.

DeSantis supporters agree with the governor’s move.

"If you are a sanctuary city and want the benefits of it, you need to accept who else is coming here," supporter Ann Kendall said.

Coming to see the governor speak, Kendall said there is still a process for the migrants truly heading to Florida to return.

"My family came in legally, they were sponsored. They came from Europe and they should come in that way, too. I feel bad for the people seeking asylum, but not everybody is," Kendall said.