MIAMI (WSVN) - The Lieutenant Governor of Florida made some controversial comments while she spoke on a radio station discussing Cuban migrants.
Lt. Governor Jeanette Nuñez on Monday, tweeted, “Although states do not have jurisdiction over the well-being of our residents. Entering the country illegally and fleeing a dictatorship to seek asylum are two different things, and misrepresenting that is offensive.”
The tweet was published after receiving backlash from an interview with WURN (Actualidad Radio), a conservative Spanish language radio station, in which she had suggested Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis would follow Arizona and Texas in busing undocumented migrants to northern states.
“The governor isn’t going to stand there with his arms crossed. He’s thinking what he’s going to do. He’s going to send them, frankly to the state of Delaware, the President’s state,” said Nuñez through translation.
Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried was at Versailles Monday morning and slammed the comments made by Nuñez.
“Certainly our governor needs to condemn these actions and these comments,” said Fried. “We know that so many people have left so many communist countries and tyranny to come here to Florida and to America for democracy, for a quality way of life and her comments were so insensitive.”
Fellow gubernatorial candidate Congressman Charlie Crist released a statement reading in part.
“Playing partisan political games with Cuban refugees is a betrayal of our deepest values as Floridians and as Americans … they deserve better than to be treated as pawns in DeSantis’ political games designed to curry favor with the extremist base of the Republican party.”
There has been an increase in the number of Cuban migrants that have left the island in hopes of making it to the U.S., despite the end of the “Wet foot dry foot policy,” in 2017. The policy had allowed Cubans who made it to the U.S. the right to get residency after a year.
“Their definition of illegal immigrant includes Cubans,” said Immigration attorney Mark Prada.
Critics gathered in front of the Freedom Tower in downtown Miami and said asylum seekers from Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, or any other country are freely allowed to move around the country [The United States] so they can make their appointments with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
“When someone crosses the border seeking asylum, they have to live in a certain area. They have to report to ICE. They’re expected to stay in that area, but if the state government comes and grabs them and ships them out of the country– I mean out of the state– to the other side of the country, they are creating fugitives and more immigration violations,” said Prada.
Nuñez is a Cuban-American from Miami and said this is just Democrats attempting to gain political points as Election Day is only hours away.
The question remains if states are creating fugitives with the new policies, seen in Texas, Arizona and possibly Florida.
Nuñez’s tweet also said that, back in April, DeSantis said he would send migrants to Delaware.
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