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Acting Homeland Security Secretary: Plan To Send Immigrants From Southern US Border To South Florida No Longer An Option

FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – A plan to send potentially thousands of undocumented immigrants to South Florida is officially off the table, according to acting the secretary of Homeland Security.

Speaking on Face the Nation Sunday, anchor Margaret Brennan asked Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan, "So to be clear, is Florida still being considered?"

"No," McAleenan said. "We're using the Southwest border sectors for additional capacity."

"And it will not be in the future?" Brennan asked. "I don't think so," said McAleenan.

Broward Mayor Mark Bogen led the local charge blasting the plan.

"I'm happy that they made that decision," he said.

Bogen worked with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and others to get the proposal stopped.

"I want to thank the governor and all the other elected officials that got involved," Mayor Bogen said. "It shows that Democrats and Republicans can work together to address a problem."

McAleenan said a swelling population of detainees on the border forced them to look at options.

"We do have stations in Florida. We have stations in the northern border, they're very small stations," he said. "They have a few agents that are busy patrolling their areas. It wasn't going to be an effective use of resources. But yeah, we had to look at all options."

McAleenan said it soon became clear South Florida would not work.

"U.S. Customs and Border Protection did notify officials locally, in those areas, that they were looking at the possibility of doing this, that's correct," he said.

Brennan asked, "Those cities are also off the table now?"

"Correct," said McAleenan.

The plan had many local officials in South Florida fuming.

"This is a perfect example of how ridiculously chaotic and discombobulated president Trump's immigration policy," said Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

She said this is what she's come to expect from the Trump administration.

"Every single day the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing. You know what's going to happen next. It created absolute chaos and this is a manufactured crisis that president trump refuses to deal with because he's anti-immigrant," she said.

McAleenan said the Department of Homeland Security is working with the Department of Defense to quickly add space on the border to house and process people who are detained there.

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