DeSantis sends FL National Guard to Texas to help border security; claims Biden ignores the crisis

By: - May 16, 2023 6:22 pm

A dust storm hits several hundred migrants as they wait on the U.S. side of the Rio Grande to be picked up and processed by immigration officials in El Paso. (Ivan Pierre Aguirre for The Texas Tribune)

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Tuesday that he’s sending the Florida National Guard, law enforcement officers, boats and planes and other personnel to the southern border to help “secure America’s border,” following a letter from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

The list includes 800 Florida National Guard soldiers, 200 Florida Department of Law Enforcement officers (in teams of 40), 101 Florida Highway Patrol troopers, 20 Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers and 20 Emergency Management personnel – including radio technicians, logisticians, mechanics and planners, according to a DeSantis news release.

Gov. Abbott noted in his letter that states like Idaho and Florida had already offered help.

“The State of Florida has also offered resources, such as hundreds of Florida National Guard soldiers and law enforcement officers, as well as assets like drone technology. I thank these states for proactively addressing this crisis and request other states follow their lead in helping to secure America’s border,” Abbott wrote.

The letter from Abbott comes just days after officials lifted the Title 42 pandemic restrictions at the southern border.

That was the name of the emergency health authority that former President Donald Trump began in March 2020 that allowed U.S. officials to turn away migrants who came to the southern U.S. border on the grounds of preventing the spread of COVID-19. The Biden administration announced in January that it was ending national COVID-19 emergencies, and Title 42 ended on May 11.

This is not the first time that DeSantis has sent Florida law enforcement officers to the border in Texas.

He did so in the summer of 2021 after Abbott and then-Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey requested assistance for a “security crisis overwhelming law enforcement at the southern border.” The Miami Herald reported later that year that the assignment cost taxpayers at least $1.6 million.

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Mitch Perry
Mitch Perry

Mitch Perry has covered politics and government in Florida for more than two decades. Most recently he is the former politics reporter for Bay News 9. He has also worked at Florida Politics, Creative Loafing and WMNF Radio in Tampa. He was also part of the original staff when the Florida Phoenix was created in 2018.