State Trooper 'Base Camp' Erected In Florida Keys As Boatloads Of Migrants Invade
Hundreds of migrants have arrived in small boats along the Florida Keys over the last month in what local authorities have described as a 'crisis.' Food shortages and soaring inflation, inducing economic turmoil, have sparked a wave of migration from Cuba and other countries in the Caribbean.
Florida officials have erected a small tent city in the Upper Florida Keys near mile marker 88.5 in the Village of Islamorada, according to the Miami Herald.
About a week ago, the tent city was set up on eight vacant, privately owned lots.
There are more than a dozen trailers, a large air-conditioned tent, portable bathrooms, and laundry facilities.
A Miami Herald/FLKeysnews reporter arrived at the tent city on Thursday. The reporter found a parking lot of Florida Highway Patrol vehicles and troopers walking around the camp.
Miami Herald said the 'base camp' was built to house law enforcement officers assigned to the Keys amid the increase in migrant landings. The Islamorada village government told the local paper in a statement that the tent city was built after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order to deal with the migrants.
The Islamorada village government emphasized in the statement the tent city was a "base camp" and "NOT a migrant holding area."
"This Base Camp is for storage of vehicles and a housing/ laundry facility for the National Guard and The FHP Officers sent here after the State of Emergency was declared, due to the influx of Migrant Landings in the Keys," the statement reads.
According to Shannon Weiner, Monroe County's director of Emergency Management, the purpose of the base camp was to get law enforcement out of the Key hotels that are usually in high demand from tourists.
"The base camp belongs to the Florida Division of Emergency Management.
"Due to a lack of hotel availability in Monroe County it is being stood up to house state employees in Monroe assigned to the migrant response," Weiner said.
DeSantis issued his executive order early last month after a "mass migration crisis" hit the Keys. There was one instance where over 500 migrants were found in three days after multiple landings.
Along with troopers, the Biden administration has shifted federal agents and Coast Guard assets to the Keys to deal with the rise in migrant landings.