Hundreds of Cuban migrants fleeing the island nation have arrived ashore in the Florida Keys in the past few days, continuing a surge in those making the perilous 100-mile journey. According to the US Coast Guard, since October 1, authorities have intercepted 4,153 Cuban migrants at sea, up from 838 in fiscal year 2021.

The Keys have been flooded with more than 500 Cuban immigrants over the past two days, something DeSantis says has been “particularly burdensome” on local officials. A spokeswoman for Monroe County, which includes the Florida Keys, did not return a request seeking comment.

Haitians fleeing economic instability and violence have also arrived to southern Florida in recent days by boat, including more than 100 landing in Key Largo on Tuesday.

The spike in migrants in Florida parallels a surge in asylum seekers at the southern border in Texas, where thousands of Central and South Americans have attempted to cross into the US in recent weeks. Many have tried to enter the US before the sunset of Title 42, a Trump administration-era policy that allows the US to expel migrants to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Supreme Court recently blocked the policy from expiring.

Biden on Thursday announced a new policy allowing up to 30,000 immigrants a month from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela to enter the country. This was part of a border strategy that includes expanded use of Title 42 removals.

Neither White House officials nor US Customs and Border Patrol officials responded to requests seeking comment.

DeSantis has long used immigration policy as his criticism of the Biden administration, even though the state he leads is hundreds of miles from the southern border. In mid-September, the DeSantis administration sent most Venezuelan asylum seekers from the southern border to Martha’s Vineyard, a Massachusetts enclave typically associated with wealthy liberal-leaning residents.

Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott has also bused thousands of migrants to blue bastions like NYC, Chicago and Washington, DC, including Vice President Kamala Harris’ residence at the Naval Observatory.

DeSantis’ administration, records show, went out of its way to hide that planning process, including that his public safety czar Larry Keefe used an email address to plan the flight, making it appear that the email ” Clarice Starling”. “silence of the Lambs.”

However, when the immigrants are Cuban, the politics change. DeSantis won the 2022 midterm Hispanic vote by 15 points, a large portion of whom are Cubans, a historically conservative-leaning slice of the electorate. In addition, the annual Cuban poll run by Florida International University had Republicans, including DeSantis, with near-record support from Cuban voters.

“It looks like the Republican Party train is still picking up passengers on Calle Ocho,” said Guillermo Grenier, sociology professor and lead pollster on the annual effort. Calle Ocho refers to a historic Cuban section of Little Havana in Miami. “They remain loyal to the Republican Party and its Trump version.”

Members of the Florida Legislature representing South Florida say the state is monitoring the situation.

“At this time, law-enforcement agencies in the Florida Division of Emergency Management continue to monitor the situation in the Keys,” said Florida Sen. Ana Maria Rodriguez (R-Miami). “State law enforcement agencies are dispatching additional resources to assist with local operations. Most of the additional resources will be available early next week.”

But state Representative Fenris Driskell (D-Tampa), the Democratic leader in the House, on Friday criticized DeSantis for criticizing Biden, saying much of the blame for the current immigration dilemma lies with GOP congressional hardliners.

“While this influx of immigrants into South Florida certainly needs to be addressed, DeSantis is making an issue about President Biden,” Driskell said in a statement.

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