Governor Ron DeSantis joined Governor Greg Abbott in Texas on Saturday for a border crisis briefing. The crisis began after the Biden administration lifted multiple border policies issued by former President Trump.
Florida was the first state to provide help at the border after Governor DeSantis deployed law enforcement in June.
At the news conference, Governor DeSantis said Florida was providing Texas support at the border in response to the many times Texas has helped Florida recover from hurricanes. He also said the problem at the border is something that he and law enforcement officials in Florida have been looking into before Governor Abbott requested assistance.
“Right before … the request for support, I had been meeting with some of my rural sheriffs, and they said the number one issue in our towns by far, is methamphetamine — and ninety-five percent of it is coming right across the southern border. So this is having a direct impact on the lives of people in Florida and throughout the country. We understood how significant that is, especially if you don’t have the full resources of the federal government pulling in the right direction.”
DeSantis also noted that, “The people that they’re interdicting, when they ask them where your ultimate destination is … seventy percent of the people they have interdicted said their ultimate destination is to the state of Florida.” DeSantis said the information was from Florida officials.
“We’d like to see the old policies [from the] previous administration just simply put back in because we know that would solve a lot of it. But until we get back to that point, the states are going to have to step up. They have enough fentanyl just seized in June to kill hundreds of millions of people,” he added.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott thanked Governor DeSantis and the assistance provided by Florida officials and said, “We need all the manpower we can get to repel the record-breaking number of people who are coming across the border … Governor DeSantis made the points on why this is such a national issue, and that is what happens at the border may be happening here today, but it will be happening in these other states tomorrow, next week, or next month.”
Abbott said that these issues include drugs and human trafficking brought over from cartel members and smugglers who are more likely to come to the U.S. under President Biden’s “catch and release” program. He also said the best way to interdict these individuals is at the border, not in the states where they reached their destination.
“In the month of April, from last year to this year, there’s been about a thousand percent increase, and in the month May, there was about an eight hundred percent increase in people coming across the border … In Texas alone, in this fiscal year already, we’ve already set a new all-time record for the number of people who have been apprehended coming across the border,” he added.
As far the progress made by Florida personnel, Governor DeSantis said that “they’ve had a really big impact” and that Florida officials have accounted for the apprehension of more than 2,800 illegal aliens, of which over 100 were arrested with felonies that included human trafficking, drug smuggling, and stolen vehicles.
Governor DeSantis ended the news conference by saying that Florida’s dedication to the border crisis will remain as he and Florida law enforcement prepare for a “second wave” of support that is already within the budget.
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Casey Owens is a contributing writer for The Florida Capital Star. Follow him on Twitter at @cowensreports. Email tips to [email protected]