Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday announced that the state will send drones, planes, law enforcement personnel, and other resources to help Texas defend the southern border amid the illegal immigration crisis.
DeSantis’s announcement comes in response to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s urgent request sent to fellow governors earlier on Tuesday to send reinforcements in the wake of President Joe Biden ending Title 42 last week.
“The impacts of Biden’s Border Crisis are felt by communities across the nation, and the federal government’s abdication of duty undermines the sovereignty of our country and the rule of law,” DeSantis said in a statement.
“At my direction, state agencies, including law enforcement and the Florida National Guard, are being deployed to Texas, with assets including personnel, boats, and planes,” he continued. “While Biden ignores the crisis he created, Florida stands ready to help Texas respond to this crisis.”
A significant number of assets and resources—over 1,000—are being made available for deployment to Texas within the next 24 hours.
The personnel resources available for deployment include 101 Florida Highway Patrol troopers; 200 Florida Department of Law Enforcement officers, organized into teams of 40; 20 Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers; 800 Florida National Guard soldiers; and 20 Emergency Management personnel.
In terms of assets, Florida stands ready to provide five fixed-wing aircraft equipped with monitoring equipment and downlink capabilities; two Mobile Command Vehicles with accompanying command teams; 17 unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) and support teams; and 10 vessels, including airboats, shallow draft vessels, and mid-range vessels.
Florida’s Division of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie expressed solidarity with Texas and pledged support “as they work to repel illegal aliens at the border.”
“We are prepared to assist however needed,” Guthrie said in the same statement.
The provision of resources to assist Texas in responding to its security crisis is made possible through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) between states. The EMAC is a framework that allows states to collaborate and share resources during emergencies or disasters. Resources deployed through this agreement are eligible for reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The states of Texas and Arizona have previously used the same mechanism to request support from Florida in 2021 to provide support and reinforcements to address the security crisis overwhelming law enforcement at the southern border.
Texas Asks Governors to Send Reinforcements, Provide Funds
The Texas governor on Tuesday sent a letter to all U.S. governors calling for urgent help in combating the ongoing border crisis in the wake of the Biden administration ending Title 42, a policy that allowed for the swift expulsion of illegal immigrants during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his letters, Abbott stressed the impact of the Biden administration’s decision to end Title 42 and called for the deployment of reinforcements from other states. He expressed concern about the subsequent surge of illegal border activity that has inundated Texas communities and urged collective action to address the crisis.
“In the federal government’s absence, we, as Governors, must band together to combat President Biden’s ongoing border crisis and ensure the safety and security that all Americans deserve,” the letter reads. The letter requests the governors provide help via the EMAC process.
“Join us in the mission to defend our national sovereignty and territorial integrity and send all available law enforcement personnel and resources to the Texas-Mexico border to serve alongside our thousands of Texas National Guard soldiers and Texas Department of Public Safety troopers,” the letter reads.
Highlighting the financial strain placed on Texas in addressing border security, Abbott requested assistance in funding border security operations. Texas has already allocated over $4.5 billion since 2021 for these efforts, and the Texas Legislature is currently considering an additional $4.6 billion for the next two years.
However, Abbott stressed the need for shared responsibility among all states, stating that “Texas alone should not have to shoulder the financial burden of protecting our nation.”
Abbott expressed his gratitude to Idaho and Florida for their recent contributions toward securing the southern border by providing law enforcement support and assets. Last week, Idaho Gov. Brad Little deployed a team of state police for a monthlong mission to support Texas border security efforts to prevent the smuggling of people and drugs into America.
Abbott also highlighted the numerous measures he’s taken to address the border crisis in what he calls the absence of federal action. These measures include securing substantial funding, launching Operation Lone Star, deploying Texas National Guard soldiers and Texas Department of Public Safety troopers, establishing the Texas Tactical Border Force, hiring a Border Czar, aiding border communities, designating Mexican drug cartels as terrorist organizations, arresting criminals, authorizing the return of illegal immigrants to the border, acquiring materials for border wall construction, enacting laws to combat human trafficking and the fentanyl crisis, and activating the Joint Border Security Operations Center.