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All about the surge

With tens of thousands of immigrants poised to cross over into the United States tomorrow, there are a few of us focusing on another pending doom today. I am writing this from the 2023 Governor’s Hurricane Conference in West Palm Beach, Florida and have been having some interesting conversations with folks so far. Many of the attendees are still reeling from recent tornadic storms so the focus has not all been on hurricanes but there is a sense of anticipation in the air regarding the upcoming season.

In April the Colorado State University Tropical Meteorology Project team predicted a “slightly below normal” Atlantic Hurricane Season saying that we should experience approximately 13 named storms including six hurricanes, two of which could be major.

While the words “Slightly less” should be encouraging, it is not as we remember seasons when the one or two hurricanes was all it took to bring the southeast to its knees and named storms, while not hurricanes can do serious damage as well.

The concern themes seem to be portable lighting, shelters and water sources so the vendors are out in full force at the conference alongside the “big dogs” of deployment services, the companies that set up entire villages in hours to accommodate refugees, evacuees and response personnel.

The season runs from June 1 to November 30 this year.

The shell-shocked attendees have been pretty open about their fears in the wake of last week’s tornadic storm that brought an EF2 tornado to nearby Palm Beach Gardens with winds of 130 MPH leaving piles of debris in its wake along with roof damage, minor structural damage to buildings, a lot of trees down and a lot vehicle damage.

Tornadoes in Florida can form in a variety of ways, and in all seasons. However, many of Florida's tornadoes occur in the Spring and Summer months. Summer season tornadoes (June-September) typically occur along strong sea breeze boundary collisions, as well as from tropical cyclones. Spring season tornadoes (February-May) can be more powerful and deadly as they are spawned from severe supercells along a squall line ahead of a cold front. These types of tornadoes are also possible in the fall and winter months (October-January).

It has been interesting to see how the issues have crossed however as vendors and attendees alike have been discussing the probabilities and possibilities that are held within the ending of Title 42. Everyone wants to know what will actually be happening at the border. The truth is we still don’t know.

The Biden administration has “finalized” a sweeping restriction on asylum that it plans to use to ramp up swift deportations of migrants who cross the U.S.-Mexico border after the Title 42 pandemic-era policy ends tomorrow.

Hundreds of U.S. asylum officers were trained on how to enforce the restriction just yesterday and the regulation was published on this morning so I cannot expand too much on the plan as of yet.

The regulation, which is already expected to be challenged in federal court, will be a dramatic shift in asylum policy, disqualifying migrants from U.S. protection if they fail to request refugee status in another country, such as Mexico, on their journey to the southern border.

The new rule represents a major pivot by President Biden who campaigned on restoring access to the U.S. asylum system after numerous Trump administration rules made it more difficult for migrants to secure refuge on American soil. In fact, the regulation published today appears to almost be a Trump document that was struck down by Biden in 2020!

Yes, as usual, there is no agreement and so no real solution. There is nothing new under the sun except maybe the 80,000 plus immigrants waiting just south of Brownsville, Texas alone all waiting to come over tomorrow morning.

So, hurricane or immigrant surge…which would you choose?

At this point, I gotta go hurricane on this one as intelligence reports coming in are stating that we could have approximately 700,000 immigrants waiting for Thursday. Could this be true? Sources are saying that there has been a 500 percent increase in migrants crossing the Darién Gap, which connects South and Central America and aerial footage is now showing massive groups such as the 80,000+ that seem to be primarily Venezuelan.

It will be an interesting week in America and for America. It is too bad that none of the vendors here at the Governor’s Hurricane Conference have a flood solution for the kind of flooding we will see tomorrow.

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