Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis lashed out at the Biden administration on Saturday for warning Cubans not to make the 90-odd mile trip across the Atlantic to claim asylum in the U.S. while allowing other migrants to illegally cross into the U.S. along the southwestern border.
“They have a hundred times stronger case for political persecution leaving a communist dictatorship than the other migrants who are coming across the border who are basically coming across the border because they want more economic opportunities,” DeSantis, a Republican, told Fox News’ “Watters World.”
“It’s a total double standard, but honestly, it’s something we expected because I do think a lot of their border policies are very political in nature in its intent,” DeSantis added.
Host Jesse Watters questioned the governor over whether he believes the Democratic administration is more likely to block Cuban asylum seekers because they are fleeing Communism and that means they are more likely to vote for conservative Republicans and less likely to support socialist policies.
“Look, I think there’s political dimension to it, there’s no doubt,” DeSantis said, adding that the best way to help Cubans is to assist their democracy efforts at home.
“We do believe the fight for freedom is in Cuba, with the Cuban people,” DeSantis continued. “We want to be supportive of that.
“But we don’t think it’s in their interest, or in our interest, to have a big migration.”
The Florida governor also said he understands there are legitimate asylum seekers crossing from Mexico, too, but political persecution is much more prevalent with the Cuban refugees.
“Some of these people themselves are being victimized and being trafficked by the cartels, but they don’t rate the same as leaving a dictatorship, a communist dictatorship,” he added.
DeSantis was speaking from Texas, where he has sent some 50 Florida state law enforcement personnel to help Texas law enforcement with a migrant crush that began in earnest after President Joe Biden took office and began reversing most of former President Donald Trump’s border enforcement measures.
“Where the federal government is failing, Texas is having to step up, and Florida and other states are helping,” DeSantis said, adding that some of those migrants will ultimately be traveling to Florida, which is why he sent help to Texas.
“Most of the people that are Florida folks have admitted their ultimate destination is the state of Florida,” he said.
“So this has huge implications not just for our country as a whole, but states like my own where a lot of these folks are going to end up coming illegally,” he added, criticizing the administration for re-implementing so-called “catch and release.”
“When they get turned over to the feds, what the feds are essentially doing is giving them a bus ticket and letting them go where they want to go,” DeSantis said.
“This has big implications for our schools, our social services, all of those other things. Make no mistake about it, this is a deliberate policy to allow illegal migrants to go all over the country in violation of our laws.”