Gov. Ron DeSantis says he is sending Florida law enforcement to the Southern U.S. border to answer a call for help from the GOP governors of Texas and Arizona.
Blasting President Joe Biden’s immigration policies, DeSantis said states need to step up to stop people from entering the country illegally.
“We believe securing the Southern border is important for our country,” he said at a news conference in Pensacola. “Where the federal government has failed, the states are stepping up.”
DeSantis, though, did not offer specifics on how many people would be sent to the border, what exactly they would be doing, and how much the operation would cost Florida taxpayers. He said those details are being ironed out.
The request for assistance is for a 16-day period, and Florida will be the first state to answer the call for help from Texas and Arizona.
In the letter asking for assistance, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott wrote that Biden “has proven unwilling or unable” to secure the border.
A White House spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
State Rep. Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando, blasted DeSantis’ announcement as a “political stunt.”
“[I]nstead of perpetuating the attacks on immigrants & going after Biden Administration why don’t you focus on the people who live in FL!” she tweeted.
DeSantis said the situation at the U.S. border is causing more criminal activity and drug trafficking in Florida, which is the reason he is willing to divert law enforcement resources from Florida cities.
The Florida Highway Patrol, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and sheriff offices in Brevard, Escambia, Hillsborough, Holmes, Lee, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton counties have committed resources, according to the governor’s office.
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