Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Wednesday that Florida will send law enforcement to help with border protection efforts in Texas and Arizona after the border states’ own governors requested assistance in tackling illegal immigration at the US-Mexico border.
During a press conference in Pensacola, the GOP governor said the number of officers, where they will go and the costs have yet to be determined. Officers from the Florida Highway Patrol, Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will head to Texas and Arizona. A number of sheriff’s offices have committed to helping, as well, including Brevard, Escambia, Hillsborough, Holmes, Lee, Okaloosa, Pasco, Santa Rosa and Walton counties.
“The Biden administration ended effective policies that have been implemented by President Donald Trump to curb illegal immigration across the Southern border,” DeSantis said. “They have revoked policies designed to secure our border and keep Americans safe.”
Democrat Rep. Anna Eskamani scoffed at the governor’s announcement, calling it “another political stunt.”
“Instead of perpetuating the attacks on immigrants and going after [the] Biden Administration, why don’t you focus on the people who live in Florida,” Eskamani wrote on Twitter. “We’re dealing w/a broken unemployment system and affordable housing crisis that you could be fixing!”
During the news conference, DeSantis also claimed that drug trafficking and human trafficking were on the rise due to the Biden administration’s border policies.
“If that border was under control, we would have less meth pouring into Florida communities and particularly in the northern part of the state,” DeSantis said.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection statistics revealed that there were more than 180,000 illegal immigrants encountered on the southwest border in May.
“TX @GovAbbott and AZ Governor @DougDucey requested help so they can do what the federal government is either unwilling or unable to do — secure the border and protect Americans. Florida is stepping up to answer that call,” DeSantis later posted on Twitter regarding his state’s move to support the border states.
Earlier this month, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced the state would crack down on immigrants crossing the border illegally. He acknowledged the increase in apprehensions will necessitate additional jail space and said that has partnered with Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey to seek assistance from governors nationwide with the crisis.
“With your help, we can apprehend more of these perpetrators of state and federal crimes before they can cause problems in your state,” the governors said. “Texas and Arizona have stepped up to secure the border in the federal government’s absence, and now, the Emergency Management Assistance Compact gives your State a chance to stand strong with us.”