Florida’s DeSantis Sending 50 State Officers to Help With US–Mexico Border Crisis
Earlier this month, DeSantis became the first governor to answer the plea for help from fellow GOP governors Greg Abbott of Texas and Doug Ducey of Arizona by authorizing the deployment of law enforcement personnel to assist with helping to secure the border, but didn’t offer any details at the time.
The first wave that will be sent to the southern border to address the crisis includes officers from the Department of Law Enforcement, Fish and Wildlife, and Florida Highway Patrol, the Republican governor said during a press briefing. He said they will be ready to work on June 28.
During the conference, DeSantis also mentioned that funding for the operation is still a “point of discussion.”
“Typically, if someone would help us, we would pick up some of their funding … that’s how we would hope that it goes, but we don’t anticipate getting any federal funds, no,” the governor said.
DeSantis also noted that the request from fellow GOP governors comes amid a rise in methamphetamine crossing the border, which is increasingly causing harm not only at the southern border but also in Florida and other parts of the country.
“I had met just weeks ago with some of our sheriffs up in north Florida and their No. 1 concern is all the meth that’s coming in,” DeSantis said, adding that this has had “a real effect” on Florida communities.
DeSantis spokeswoman Christina Pushaw told The Epoch Times last week that helping fellow Americans in a moment of need is always the right thing to do.
“It’s undeniable that the border crisis is out of control,” she said. “The governors of other states have sent resources to Florida in the past to help respond to natural disasters. With the federal government unable or unwilling to enforce our laws and secure our border, Florida is ready to step up to the plate and do our part.”
Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford also expressed a similar view, saying that he sees the cry for help from the governors of Texas and Arizona to secure the border as an opportunity to repay the debt he owes after Hurricane Michael devastated Bay County in 2018 and many sheriffs from other states came to their aid.
“So we’re going to volunteer to be the first ones there to help,” Ford said.
Despite the overwhelming support DeSantis has received from Florida’s law enforcement, some Democrats have criticized the governor’s move.
Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Fla.), one of two Democrats who have declared their intention to run for governor in 2022, called the decision to send Florida law enforcement to the border a “political stunt.” Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, another Democrat gubernatorial candidate, wrote on Twitter: “Florida’s current governor just makes controversies up to get on Fox News.”
Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno told The Epoch Times that Floridians have to help in securing the border even though it isn’t a border state, as it will help to “stop the flow of narcotics that end up in our state and ravage our communities.”
Marceno said fentanyl cases have gone up 230 percent in Lee County over the past six months, and there has been a 3,000 percent increase in the number of sexual predators coming across U.S. borders.
“We’re not going to allow it,” Marceno said. “Florida’s residents are going to be safe and secure.”
Patricia Tolson contributed to this report.
From NTD News