Governor DeSantis Sends Massive Deployment to Texas-Mexico Border

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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has made a significant announcement, revealing plans to deploy more than 1,100 state law enforcement agents and National Guard members to the Texas-Mexico border. This action marks a tenfold increase compared to a similar move in 2021 and comes just weeks before DeSantis is expected to launch his presidential campaign.

DeSantis has been indicating for some time that he would make an immigration-focused announcement, using it as an opportunity to engage in a war of words with President Joe Biden. DeSantis criticized the Biden administration for allowing the lapse of Title 42, a pandemic-era policy that facilitated the expulsion of migrants, asserting that the consequences of what he called “Biden’s Border Crisis” were being felt across the nation and that the federal government’s failure to address the issue undermines the sovereignty of the United States and the rule of law.

The deployment from Florida will consist of various resources, including 800 members of the Florida National Guard, 200 agents from the state Department of Law Enforcement divided into teams of 40, 101 state highway patrol troopers, 20 agents from the state Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Department of Emergency Management, 5 fixed-wing aircraft, 17 unmanned drones, and 10 waterborne vessels.

DeSantis’ office stated that the personnel would be stationed at the border for 30 days, with the possibility of extensions. Notably, this announcement coincides with the approach of hurricane season, which begins in June.

Back in June 2021, DeSantis dispatched slightly over 100 Florida law enforcement officers over a six-week period to assist with what he referred to as a “catastrophe at the southern border under the Biden Administration.” Most of these officers were sourced from the Florida Highway Patrol, the Department of Law Enforcement, and the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. At that time, Texas Governor Greg Abbott had requested support through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, leading Republican governors across the country to send state resources to the southern border.

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Responding to DeSantis’ recent announcement, Governor Abbott issued a statement requesting support from all 50 governors to address the ongoing border crisis. Texas had asked the states to cover the costs associated with the mission.

Taryn Fenske, DeSantis’ communications director, explained that due to the crisis at the border, they decided to take action without allowing bureaucratic obstacles to hinder border security. Fenske revealed that law enforcement agencies from Florida and Texas had been in contact for over a week.

In recent weeks, DeSantis has intensified his focus on immigration. He recently signed a measure aimed at discouraging migrants from entering Florida, coinciding with the expiration of Title 42. In January, DeSantis also signed an executive order deploying the Florida National Guard to respond to a significant influx of Cuban migrants in southern Florida. Additionally, the Republican-controlled Legislature has allocated over $20 million to expand a migrant transport program that generated controversy in September of the previous year when it was used to transport 50 migrants, primarily from Venezuela, from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard.

DeSantis has been dedicating more time during public appearances to discussing immigration, even when the events are unrelated. For instance, during a news conference to sign banking legislation, he made remarks about Title 42, emphasizing the need for the Biden administration to prioritize protecting the American people and not releasing individuals who are in the country illegally.

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