On Monday, Florida Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency to make it easier for him to accommodate a large number of anticipated refugees from the disaster-struck Puerto Rican island. He made this announcement during his kickoff of an all-day Latin America Summit.
“The goal is to be as helpful as we can,” Scott told reporters at the Intercontinental Hotel.
The idea is to open fully-staffed relief centers throughout the state. So far, Scott has said that he will open them up at Miami International Airport, Port Miami and Orlando International Airport.
Declaring a state of emergency will allow the Governor pay for these relief centers and their staff without legislative approval. When asked how many refugees the state could expect, Scott declined to speculate, saying:
“We know people are going to come here. They have family here. They have friends here. They’re comfortable coming to Florida. So, they’re going to come here. So, we’re going to do whatever we can. Do they need a job? Do they need housing? Do they need to find a family friend? Is there a host family that can help them? Do their kids need to get into K-12 education?”