Florida governor says Trump told him undocumented immigrants won't be shipped to his state

Trump said "illegal immigrants would not be sent to Florida" during a Saturday phone call, per a spokesperson for Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Image: Newly Sworn-In Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Makes Announcement Regarding Florida Supreme Court In Miami
Newly sworn-in Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during an event at the Freedom Tower on Jan. 09, 2019 in Miami.Joe Raedle / Getty Images file

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By Allan Smith, Christopher Nelson and Dareh Gregorian

President Donald Trump spoke with Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., on Saturday and informed him that the federal government won't be sending undocumented immigrants into his state, a DeSantis spokesperson told NBC News in a Sunday statement.

That comes after Florida officials demanded answers about a Department of Homeland Security plan to release 1,000 "unlawful immigrants and asylum-seekers" per month into two largely Democratic counties in the state.

"President Trump said he did not approve of such a plan and would not authorize it," Helen Aguirre Ferre, a DeSantis spokesperson, told NBC News. "Governor DeSantis was never notified by federal authorities that such a plan was in place."

DeSantis, a close ally of Trump and a fellow Republican, had called the proposal "not acceptable."

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The plan came under fire after local law enforcement said late last week that Customs and Border Protection informed them the asylum seekers would be brought to Florida within weeks. A CBP official told reporters Friday that such a move was not imminent and there may have been miscommunication.

The plan emerged as Trump has been talking about sending undocumented immigrants and asylum-seekers to so-called sanctuary cities in retaliation for Democrats blocking his immigration policies.

On Sunday, acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan told CBS's "Face the Nation" that the agency was not going to send migrants to the two Florida counties, overwhelmingly Democratic Broward and Palm Beach Counties.

"No, we're using the southwest border sectors for additional capacity," McAleenan told CBS, adding that officials scrapped the plan on Saturday.

McAleenan said DHS is looking to move people to additional locations, however, as Texas facilities are at capacity.

On Saturday, Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said "it appears that Border Patrol has backed off its initial plans to transport a thousand illegal immigrants to South Florida."

"Because of everybody's efforts, we are able to stop what had appeared to be a crisis for our community," Bradshaw said. "We will continue to monitor this situation and if there are any changes we will let you know. But you need to know that we stand ready to protect you, keep you safe, and adjust to anything that is going to happen in this community that affects your quality of life."

Late Sunday afternoon, Trump tweeted there was "false reporting" Saturday regarding plans to send migrants to Florida and other states.

"Not by airplanes or any other way," Trump wrote. "Our Country is FULL, will not, and can not, take you in!"