On Monday (January 2), a Florida Sheriff described the roughly 500 migrants that arrived on the Florida Keys as a “crisis.”
Food shortages, economic turmoil, and skyrocketing inflation in Cuba and other parts of the Caribbean are behind the recent spike in migration.
Three hundred migrants arrived over the weekend at the Dry Tortugas National Park, a sparsely populated area about 70 miles west of Key West.
In a tweet, the park revealed it had shut down to allow law enforcement and medical personnel could evaluate the migrants before moving them to Key West.
Also, on New Year’s weekend, 160 migrants arrived in other parts of the Florida Keys by boat.
Then on Monday (January 2), 30 more migrants were found in the Middle Keys.
Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay censured the federal response to the refugee arrivals, describing the response as pointing to a “lack of a working plan.”
Ramsay also explained that the mass migration — and lack of support from the federal government — was draining the resources of the Sheriff’s office as they needed to ensure migrants were “in good health and safe.”
Officials from Dry Tortugas National Park — a National park on the southern tip of the Continental U.S. that attracts snorkelers and scuba divers — revealed that the park would have to close for a few days because of the resources and space needed to take care of migrants.
The statement by the park comes as the U.S. Border Patrol and Coast Guards patrolling Florida’s coast have intercepted the largest number of migrants in over a decade.