Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced on Friday that state law enforcement officers were deployed in response to calls from Texas and Arizona for assistance in addressing the immigration crisis on the southern border.
Law enforcement from three agencies, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), deployed Friday. The resources include “50 staff law enforcement members from FDLE, FHP, and FWC and mission critical equipment,” according to the governor’s office.
“It is anticipated that personnel will be deployed for 16-day shifts,” his office continued, noting over 20 county sheriff departments pledging to “provide staffing resources to cover duties typically filled by the deployed officers.”
“When the Governors of Texas and Arizona reached out for help, Florida answered the call,” DeSantis said in a statement. “We are witnessing a catastrophe at the southern border under the Biden Administration.”
“In recent months, we have seen people from the terrorist watch list, known sex offenders and a flood of fentanyl cross over the border,” he continued. “This is a national security crisis, and we must get it under control.”
FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen thanked the FDLE agents and analysts who volunteered for the mission, particularly since they will be away from their families over the Fourth of July holiday.
Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes and Colonel Roger Young, director of the FWC’s Division of Law Enforcement, also expressed their gratitude to officers and the governor for his “bold leadership on this issue.”
DeSantis announced Florida’s action last week following a cry from Gov. Doug Ducey (R-AZ) and Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX):
The # of illegal border crossings this fiscal year is already the most since 2006. This is a crisis, our law enforcement professionals need help.
— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) June 10, 2021
“America’s border security crisis impacts every state and every American,” DeSantis said at the time, blaming the Biden administration for ending policies implemented by former President Trump, which 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,” he said, adding, “Florida has your back.”
Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) and Idaho Gov. Brad Little (R) have also pledged to provide assistance.