Update: Here’s what Palm Beach County plans to do.
We have received information that the federal government through the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, has plans to transport 270 immigrants, presumed to be undocumented, into Palm Beach County each week for an undetermined time period. It is our understanding that these individuals may include family units. This unexpected situation creates concerns related to our ability to provide shelter, food, medical and other social services to those children and adults that would arrive in Palm Beach County without identified support.
Details regarding this immigrant placement strategy from the federal government have not been provided to the county nor is there any evidence of a federal plan to address the basic needs of food, shelter and security for the arriving families and the impact on our community.
Until we have official notice or order, we are closely monitoring the situation.
To that fact, Palm Beach County’s Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP) will be the framework for contingency planning to include collaboration with appropriate community partners including, but not limited to, municipal partners, Department of Health, law enforcement, state agencies, school district, non-profit and faith-based communities.
Original story below:
A plan to send release thousands of migrants to Palm Beach and Broward counties has local law-enforcement up in arms.
The Trump administration is preparing to send asylum-seeking migrants to south Florida, according to USA Today and other national media.
Palm Beach Association of Chiefs of Police just sent a letter to Homeland Security patrol agent-in-charge Angel Belen objecting to the plan.
A similar letter to Gov. Rick DeSantis was sent to local media by Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. That letter puts the annual number of migrant families that would wait here for their court hearing and processing at 14,000 a year.
Here’s the full content of the police chief association’s letter, signed by retired chief Ted J. Gonzales, executive director. Boca Raton Police Chief Dan Alexander is the former president and a member of the association.
“You briefed the members of Palm Beach County Association of Chiefs of Police today on the resettlement and processing operation being considered by the United States Border Patrol.
This plan to transport migrants to South Florida and release them into our communities pending their court hearing would significantly affect the public safety resources in our city and Palm Beach County.
Releasing unlawful arrivals from the southwest region into South Florida will unreasonably tax communities already facing significant immigration challenges. This unfunded mandate will compound the existing domestic security burden we bear, to include the influx of undocumented migrants that continue to land on our beaches in South Florida.
In addition to our public safety concerns, we recognize the impact such a program would have on other institutions, which are responsible for education, homelessness, public health and other services.
Following today’s presentation, the Palm Beach County Association of Chief of Police voted unanimously to oppose the plan.
“We do not believe that this resettlement and processing plan is the solution and we are willing to discuss our position, as well as work with you to identify viable solutions.”