Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday that several of the state’s law enforcement agencies will send personnel to Texas and Arizona to aid local authorities in addressing an immigration crisis at the southern border.
DeSantis said the directive was a response to requests from Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who asked other governors earlier this month to send “all available law enforcement resources.” The Republican governors have accused the Biden administration of failing to adequately address the crisis, which has resulted in increased drug smuggling and instances of human trafficking.
“America’s border security crisis impacts every state and every American,” DeSantis said in a statement. “The Biden Administration ended policies implemented by President Trump that were curbing illegal immigration, securing our border, and keeping Americans safe.”
“Governors Abbott and Ducey recently sent out a call for help to every state in the nation, needing additional law enforcement manpower and other resources to aid with border security. I’m proud to announce today that the state of Florida is answering the call. Florida has your back,” he added.
A total of 12 law enforcement entities within Florida are sending personnel to the other states. The groups include the Florida Highway Patrol, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and nine county sheriff’s offices.
DeSantis said the Florida-based personnel would remain on assignment in the other states for at least 16 days “across a variety of different functions.” The governor noted Florida was the first state to commit resources in response to the request.
“The states have sent Florida support when we’ve responded to emergencies here in our state and they wanted support so that they could do what the federal government is either unwilling or unable to do: secure the border and protect the people, not just of their states, but of the entire country,” DeSantis said at a press conference.
DeSantis and other GOP leaders have argued that Biden’s decision to reverse several Trump-era immigration policies, including a provision requiring asylum seekers to remain in Mexico while awaiting their court date, has exacerbated the crisis. Biden officials say the president inherited an ineffective system and has worked to overturn inhumane policies.
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported more than 180,000 migrant encounters at the border in May, compared to about 23,000 encounters in the same month one year earlier.