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Trump to send thousands of illegal migrants to two Democratic strongholds in Florida

Customs and Border Protection has not publicly disclosed its plans. But a partial picture of a new approach to managing a record influx of immigrants at the southern border came into view on Thursday based on the accounts of local leaders in Broward and Palm Beach counties.

Florida officials are raising alarm and pressing for details about the purported intention of the Trump administration to send hundreds of immigrants a week to two heavily Democratic counties in South Florida.

The state’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, joined federal lawmakers from Florida — Republicans and Democrats alike — in questioning the apparent effort to foist the immigration and asylum burden on two local jurisdictions without equipping them with the resources to house, feed, educate and protect new arrivals.

"We want a better plan from our federal government,” Palm Beach County Mayor Mack Bernard, a Haitian-born Democrat, said at a news conference. “We are not a border state.”

As arrests at the border continue to increase South Florida officials said they have been told to expect the arrival twice a week of 135 asylum seekers, rerouted from the El Paso area. That is equivalent to about 1,000 people per month, divided between the two counties.

Law enforcement briefed on the plans said the arrivals were set to begin within the next two weeks and that no end date had been set. They said they still hoped federal authorities would reverse course.

But the counties are among Florida’s most reliably Democratic jurisdictions, leading the president’s critics to speculate that he was setting his punitive program into motion.“The blatant politics, sending them to the two most Democratic Counties in the state of Florida, is ridiculous,” Gary Farmer, a Democratic state senator representing part of Broward County, told Politico. “You can’t make this stuff up.”

The sheriff said he was worried about the criminal backgrounds of the immigrants, as well as about the ability of public and charitable institutions to cope with the new arrivals. “We think it’s a danger to this community,” he said.

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