DeSantis, a Republican, said Florida is the first state to answer a letter from Govs. Greg Abbott and Doug Ducey, both Republicans, that asked for help from all other states in policing the border.
“We’re here today because we have problems in Florida that are not organic to Florida that we’ve been forced to deal [with] over many years, but particularly over the last six months, because of the failure of the Biden administration to secure our southern border,” DeSantis said during an event on June 16. “And, indeed, to really do anything constructive about what is going on in the southern border.”
Law enforcement officials from a number of sheriff’s offices, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation, and the Florida Highway Patrol will be sent to the two states, DeSantis said. Sheriffs from Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Lee, Bay, and Brevard counties joined DeSantis at the news conference.
While DeSantis didn’t elaborate on the nature of the police deployment, he said there will be “more information about the contours of the mutual assistance” in the future.
“I’m sure in each one of these sheriff’s departments, they have deputies champing at the bit to be able to go help,” he said.
“I think there’s a lot of folks like, ‘Man, I wish I could do something to help.’ Well, they have an opportunity to do it. I think you’re going to see a lot of hands go up saying, ‘Hey, send me, I want to be helpful.'”
DeSantis also used the press conference to criticize the Biden administration’s immigration policies, saying that President Joe Biden rescinded a number of successful Trump-era mandates designed to curb illegal immigration. Biden has stated that it was necessary to do away with former President Donald Trump’s policies, claiming they were ineffective.
Abbott and Ducey, in their June 11 letter, called on the other states to spare additional manpower.
“With your help, we can apprehend more of these perpetrators of state and federal crimes, before they can cause problems in your state,” the two governors wrote. They didn’t mention states sending their National Guard forces to the border, as guardsmen can’t legally make arrests.
Data released this week from Customs and Border Protection show agents have apprehended roughly 180,000 individuals who illegally entered the United States in May, which is the highest figure recorded in about two years. More than 112,000 of those illegal immigrants were expelled under the Title 42 health provision, which was authorized through an emergency declaration this past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.