Proposal to fly migrants to Florida, other states scrapped after Trump intervenes

The Florida governor, a Trump ally, said the president never approved the plan.

Florida's Broward County Mayor Mark Bogen said Monday he was relieved that the plan was no longer in place.

"We understand the governor spoke to the president and we've been informed they're not coming to south Florida," he told ABC News on Friday. "I'm thankful to our governor and our elected officials for working together to determine and solve a problem."

Last week, Bogen and other local officials in Florida began pushing back after the Palm Beach County sheriff said he was told U.S. Border Patrol planned to send as many as 1,000 migrants a month from El Paso, Texas, to Florida -- split between Palm Beach County and Broward County. Bogen said he quickly began notifying nonprofits and shelters, but warned that the president would be creating a "homeless encampment" of undocumented migrants unless he provided federal assistance.

The concern quickly spread to Florida's Republican Sen. Marco Rubio and Gov. Ron DeSantis -- a Trump ally -- who began pressing the administration for answers.

CBP officials scrambled to respond on Friday, convening a call with reporters in which an official confirmed that federal border authorities were considering whether other available facilities might be able to process migrants. The official said two flights had already been used, including one from Texas to San Diego.

The official cautioned reporters that there were no flights planned to Florida "at this time," but that the agency was looking at "capacity building and contingency plans across the nation," with preference given to large ports of entry along the northern border and in coastal states.

"This is an emergency," the official said, speaking to reporters on condition of anonymity. "The entire system is overwhelmed, and we are simply trying to safely get them out of our custody as quickly as possible."

By Saturday, however, DeSantis was already on the phone with Trump. According to the Republican governor, Trump told DeSantis that he "did not approve, nor would approve, sending immigrants who illegally cross the border to Florida."

By the end of the day Saturday, acting Commissioner John P. Sanders issued a statement decrying "inaccurate reports in the press" and stating "CBP has no plans to transport people in our custody to northern or coastal border facilities, which include Border Patrol stations in Florida."

On Sunday, acting Homeland Secretary Secretary Kevin McAleenan said that the agency decided against using Florida or other states because the processing stations were too small.

"We looked at it from a planning perspective: What's prudent here?" McAleenan told told CBS' "Face the Nation." "We do have stations in Florida. We have stations on the northern border. They're very small stations. They have a few agents that are busy patrolling their areas. There wasn't going to be an effective use of resources. But yeah, we had to look at all options."

Trump on Sunday also blamed "false reporting" and declared the plan dead.

"Our Country is FULL, will not, and can not, take you in!" he tweeted.