PENSACOLA, Fla. – Florida is now entering the fight to secure the U.S. border pledging to support Texas and Arizona’s efforts, the governor announced Wednesday.
Gov. Ron DeSantis committed Florida’s support during a news conference in Pensacola on Wednesday afternoon. He was joined by leaders from multiple law enforcement agencies at the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office as he called on more agencies to aid in what he called a chaotic crisis.
The governor said Florida is the first state to answer the calls for help to secure the border, adding that several Florida law enforcement agencies are already preparing resources.
“It is both a disaster and an emergency,” the governor said. “Where the federal government has failed, the states are stepping up.”
DeSantis fired shots at the Biden administration saying the influx of illegal immigration and the repercussions that have impacted Florida are due to poor leadership. Florida’s governor added that the federal government has left Texas and Arizona no choice but to rely on others for help.
“We’re here today because we have problems in Florida that are not organic to Florida, that we’ve been forced to deal with over many years, but particularly over the last six months because of the failure of the Biden administration to secure our southern border and indeed to really do anything constructive about what is going on in the southern border,” DeSantis said.
The Florida governor said there has been an uptick in the presence of fentanyl, methamphetamine, and overdoses in the state due to the illegal substances crossing the border with migrants.
“I mean let’s just be honest, if that border was under control we would have less meth pouring into Florida communities and particularly in the northern part of the state,” DeSantis said.
This is why he’s asked, and committed, Florida law enforcement agencies to join efforts to control the border, including the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office in Central Florida.
The following sheriff’s offices and state law enforcement agencies have already committed to sending aid:
- The Florida Highway Patrol
- The Florida Department of Law Enforcement
- The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
- Brevard County Sheriff’s Office
- Escambia County Sheriff’s Office
- Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
- Holmes County Sheriff’s Office
- Lee County Sheriff’s Office
- Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office
- Pasco County Sheriff’s Office
- Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office
- Walton County Sheriff’s Office
“I’m proud to stand here with him for part of this announcement,” Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey said. “It’s simple, this administration has opened the floodgates to our country. They’ve allowed illegals to come into our country and with them, they are bringing victims of human trafficking; they are bringing fentanyl by the truckloads.”
Ivey said he is proudly offering resources to the effort whenever they are called upon in support of the initiative and to support DeSantis.
“Whatever it is that our governor needs we are ready to rock and roll,” he said.
The governor said the reinforcements have been requested to serve for 16 days but did not offer deployment dates. He said Texas and Arizona may also need supplies, which Florida will provide if agencies can. DeSantis encouraged other Florida law enforcement agencies to offer their support.
“We’ve sent people to California where they’ve had wildfires. We’ve sent people to Louisiana for hurricanes, states have sent people to help us in the past,” he said. “So there’s certain disaster emergency situations where we just tend to step up and help one another and so that’s what we’re doing here.”