TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis headed to the southern border in Texas this weekend for a security briefing with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
DeSantis, along with Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody and Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson, visited Del Rio, Texas on Saturday. Officials with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Florida Highway Patrol and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission were also scheduled to be in attendance, according to a media advisory sent by the governor’s office.
After the briefing, DeSantis held a news conference with Abbott where both Republican governors blamed President Joe Biden and what they call his open border policies.
“The people they’re interdicting, when they ask them where your ultimate destination is – these are the Florida guys I’m talking about here – 70% of the people they interdicted said their ultimate destination is to the state of Florida,” DeSantis said.
The Florida governor said he wants previous policies by the Trump administration to be reinstated.
“We appreciate you stepping up where the federal government won’t,” he said. “We understand how important this is to not just Texas but to other states and we are absolutely going to see impacts in Florida and other states if we don’t turn the tide on this.”
The governor’s visit to Texas is part of a larger effort to support what he and his political allies call a crisis. Florida law enforcement officers have already been committed to shoring up the border.
Members of the FDLE, FHP and FWC were promised by DeSantis to bring “missing critical equipment” as part of an answer to a request for help by governors Doug Ducey of Arizona and Abbott in Texas.
The two governors had sent a request for help at the border in a letter to all 50 state governors, asking for staff and resources to patrol the Mexican border.
Last month, DeSantis pledged at least 50 members of Florida law enforcement to go to the border, performing support roles and bringing equipment in 16-day shifts. To cover the gaps in their jurisdiction and duties at home, local agencies committed to sending aid around Florida as their fellow officers departed for Texas.
More than 20 county sheriff’s departments have pledged staffing resources to cover those gaps.
8 On Your Side requested details about the deployments and status of the Florida officers at the border, and is still awaiting a response from the Governor’s Office.