Governor Ron DeSantis said Tuesday he would send state law enforcement officers and National Guardsmen to the southern border in Texas, a strategic move that will test how far the state will go in enforcing immigration law as the Republican governor prepares to launch a presidential campaign. Are preparing for. ,
The governor’s office said hundreds of state troopers, police officers and Florida National Guardsmen, as well as ships and aircraft, are set to move to the border on Wednesday. The state response is covered under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, a partnership between all states to provide mutual assistance.
DeSantis’ response comes as political tensions over immigration run particularly high, with the expiration of a pandemic-era rule known as Title 42. While there is no wave of migrants, law enforcement officials at the Border Patrol fear the rule could be finalized for encounters with immigrants at the southern border in the near future.
“While Biden ignores the crisis he created, Florida stands ready to help Texas respond to this crisis,” DeSantis said in a statement.
The immigration issue, a powerful motivational topic for Republican rank-and-file voters, has been a driving political issue for DeSantis, who increasingly blames the situation at the border on the Biden administration.
“This is something that is Joe Biden’s responsibility. It’s a responsibility that he has failed to fulfill since day one of his presidency,” DeSantis said last week. “Obviously, if we had a different administration it would be much easier to really deal with the problem at its source. Would have been easier.”
This year’s mission won’t be the first time DeSantis has sent assets to help Texas agents respond to immigration issues. In the summer of 2021, he spent at least $1.6 million to send dozens of state law enforcement officers on a week-long border mission in Texas.
The seven-week trip, led by three state agencies, was billed by the Republican governor as a necessary measure to strengthen border security amid failures by the Biden administration, while critics criticized the effort as a state-funded politician. Seen as a stunt.
During their stay in Texas, state forces made contact with 9,171 undocumented immigrants, the governor’s office reported at the time. Just over 3% of those contacts resulted in a criminal arrest, according to data provided by the governor’s office.