Governor DeSantis visits Southern Border to meet with deployed Florida law enforcement

Florida and Texas elected officials, including Governor Greg Abbott, joined Governor DeSantis 

DEL RIO, Texas – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis visited the Southern Border to meet with Florida law enforcement who have been deployed to Texas to provide additional resources in response to the border crisis. While in Texas, Governor DeSantis also met with Governor Abbott for a tour and to receive a briefing on the rise in crime and drug trafficking that Texas is experiencing because of the Biden Administration’s failed border policies. At the briefing, Governor DeSantis announced that the Florida National Guard will remain in Texas to provide additional support at the border until October 2022.

Florida law enforcement have assisted with the apprehension of more than 2,800 undocumented aliens in 23 days and aided in more than 100 criminal arrests for felonies including human trafficking, drug smuggling and stolen vehicles.

“We appreciate Texas stepping up where the federal government won’t,” said Governor Ron DeSantis.“When Governor Abbott put out the call for help at the border, we immediately answered because we know that the success in Texas is America’s success. Of the individuals our law enforcement have apprehended at the border, more than 70% said they ultimately wanted to go to Florida. To solve this problem, we want to see successful border policies reinstated that President Biden irresponsibly removed. Until then, states are going to have to step up, and I am proud to dedicate Florida resources to help. In addition to our law enforcement officers, Florida National Guard will continue to serve at the border to support Texas National Guard until October 2022.”

“I am proud to stand with Governor DeSantis as he steps up to provide aid and solutions to combat the crisis at our southern border — a crisis created by President Biden,” said Attorney General Ashley Moody. “As Attorney General, I work daily to protect our citizens from crime, shield our children from human traffickers and fight the opioid crisis now claiming 21 lives a day in our state. It is downright shameful that this administration’s abdication of duty has led us to this point, but I am grateful for the leadership shown by our Governor in doing the job our president refuses to do — secure our nation’s border and protect our communities.”

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson, FWC Lieutenant Colonel Brian Smith, FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen, Florida Highway Patrol Colonel Gene Spaulding, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and other Texas officials joined Governors DeSantis and Abbott for the tour.

Resources from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) deployed on June 25, including more than 50 staff law enforcement members with mission critical equipment. Most personnel have deployed for 16-day shifts, but at the end of the first 16 days, some personnel have opted to stay on because of the impact they are having.

“Working in Texas, Florida law enforcement officers have assisted with more than 100 criminal arrests for human smuggling, drugs and stolen vehicles,” said FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen. “From our intelligence, we know some of these criminals were coming to Florida. At a time when many of our communities are seeing increases in meth and fentanyl related deaths, our ability to help our counterparts in Texas may make a real difference in the lives of Floridians. I’m proud of the commitment by our FDLE agents and analysts to keep Florida safe by combatting the smuggling of people and drugs across the border.”

“The Florida Highway Patrol is comprised of highly motivated men and women with state-of-the-art training, equipment and technology, and we’re proud to answer the call of our fellow law enforcement agencies to assist along the southern border,” said Colonel Gene Spaulding, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol. “I thank Governor DeSantis for his leadership and his continued support of law enforcement and the rule of law in our communities.”

“I want to thank Governor DeSantis for his support and our officers who have devoted long hours in support of this mission,” said FWC Lieutenant Colonel Brian Smith.  “We’ve been able to provide some much-needed relief for local law enforcement along the border stretched thin by the increase in the number of people crossing into the U.S. illegally. We’ve made a difference by providing an infusion of personnel and resources. Our officers are proud to be a part of this effort.”

On June 25, Governor DeSantis announced that state law enforcement officers had deployed to Texas. Earlier in June, Governor Ron DeSantis answered the call for support and reinforcements following a letter from Governors Greg Abbott of Texas and Doug Ducey of Arizona requesting immediate assistance with the security crisis overwhelming law enforcement at the southern border.

The Florida Division of Emergency Management is coordinating the deployment of law enforcement officers under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC). The EMAC is a national mutual aid system that allows states to share resources from all disciplines, protect personnel who deploy and be reimbursed for mission related costs.