Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is sending Florida State Guard members to the southern border to help Texas for the first time ever, he announced on Thursday.
The governor will also send around 1,000 Florida National Guard members, according to his announcement. Texas is currently dealing with a massive surge of migrants and it will not terminate its southern border operation despite pushback from President Joe Biden’s administration. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Video Appears To Show Migrants Tucked Away In Hidden Room Under Military Guard At Major US Airport)
“We’re providing up to one battalion of Florida National Guard as well as our first ever deployment of the Florida State Guard. And the goal is to help Texas fortify this border,” DeSantis stated. “Help them strengthen the barricade. Help them add barriers. Help them add the wire that they need to so that we can stop this invasion once and for all. The states have to band together to be able to defend the rule of law.”
Texas has continued to install more wire in Eagle Pass, Texas, at Shelby Park, which it assumed control of in January. The Biden administration has requested that the U.S. Supreme Court intervene and force Texas to relinquish the park, but the state has refused.
The Supreme Court ruled against Texas, granting the Biden administration’s request to enable the border patrol to take down Texas’ border wire. While the ruling was pending at the Supreme Court, the Texas Department of Public Safety took over the park, prompting the administration to respond in a court filing claiming the border patrol no longer has access to the border near the park.
Texas sued the Biden administration in October for cutting the wire, which Republican Gov. Greg Abbott directed local officials to erect seeking to prevent more illegal crossings.
DeSantis cited issues of drugs and crime caused by the border crisis during the announcement. About 260 million deadly fentanyl doses got intercepted at the border in December.
“If we don’t have a border then we are not a sovereign country. You either have a border or you don’t. You’re either a sovereign country or you’re not,” DeSantis added.
Between October and December, Border Patrol recorded more than 629,000 encounters with migrants crossing the southern border illegally, according to federal data. Florida has been sending law enforcement and military assistance to Texas since 2021, according to the announcement.
Numerous Republican governors expressed support for Abbott’s efforts to secure the border, with several states sending troops, according to Newsweek.
During Biden’s presidency, Border Patrol has recorded record levels of illegal immigration at the southern border, including more than 2.2 million migrant encounters in fiscal year 2022 and more than 2 million in fiscal year 2023, according to the federal data.
“Under President Biden’s lawless border policies, more than 6 million illegal immigrants have crossed our southern border in just 3 years,” Abbott wrote in a letter on Jan. 24. “That is more than the population of 33 different States in this country. This illegal refusal to protect the States has inflicted unprecedented harm on the People all across the United States.”