A Cruise Ship for Florida’s Migrant Crisis Had Nowhere to Dock

KEY WEST, Fla. — Nearly 1,400 migrants from Cuba and Haiti took to the sea in rickety vessels and landed in the Florida Keys in January, overwhelming the local police.

“We experienced chaos, a lack of a plan and a federal problem which became a local problem,” said the Monroe County sheriff, Rick Ramsay.

Gov. Ron DeSantis stepped in, deploying air reconnaissance planes, assembling dozens of law enforcement agents and commissioning a cruise ship to house what the administration hoped would become a local army of state employees to help handle the migrant surge.

But there was a problem: The $1 million cruise ship contract was signed before anyone realized that the vessel had nowhere to dock.

The ship was among the largest in a series of some $20 million in emergency purchases authorized by Mr. DeSantis — including drones, night vision goggles, airplane leases, aviation radios and other gear — to respond to the immigration influx.

Almost as soon as the governor declared the state…

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This article was written by Frances Robles and originally published on www.nytimes.com