From the Texas Newsroom:
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Tuesday he is sending state National Guard and law enforcement units to Texas to aid in border security efforts, according to multiple reports.
In addition to 800 Florida National Guard members, the Republican governor is also sending 200 members of his state’s Department of Law Enforcement and 101 highway patrol officers, NBC reported. Five fixed-winged aircraft and 10 marine vessels will also be part of the contingency.
DeSantis’ announcement comes the same day Gov. Greg Abbott wrote to the country’s governors, asking them to support his border-security operation now that the pandemic-era health policy known as Title 42 has expired. The policy allowed federal border agents to rapidly expel unauthorized migrants back to Mexico. The policy ended late Thursday, prompting Abbott to warn other governors of an expected wave of migrants into the country.
“The flood of illegal border activity invited by the Biden Administration flows directly across the southern border into Texas communities, but this crisis does not stop in our state,” Abbott wrote. “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.”
Abbott said the interstate cooperation is permissible under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, which enables states to share resources in disaster situations.
The Florida governor’s move comes ahead of an expected announcement that he will enter the race for president and challenge former President Donald Trump, who is considered the early frontrunner by a large margin.
When asked specifically about DeSantis’ efforts, a spokesperson for Abbott referred to the letter Abbott sent to the governors, which confirmed DeSantis’ involvement and added that Idaho Gov. Brad Little also committed to sending a team of Idaho State Police to Texas.
“I thank these states for proactively addressing this crisis and request other states follow their lead in helping to secure America’s border,” Abbott said. “President Biden unleashed a nationwide crisis and subsequently denied the federal government’s responsibility to address it. However, as Texas has demonstrated, when united we can overcome any challenge together.”
Since 2021, Texas has spent billions in taxpayer money to fund Operation Lone Star, a state-led border security mission that Abbott said was launched in response to Biden’s “open border” policies. The controversial effort includes the deployment of thousands of Texas Department of Public Safety and Texas National Guard troops to the border.
In the days leading up to the end of Title 42, Republicans warned of a massive wave of unauthorized migrants and repeatedly blasted the president and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for failing to contain the situation. Biden also warned that the situation would be chaotic for weeks after the policy ended.
But in the first few days without Title 42, migrant apprehensions have dropped along the border. Mayorkas told CNN Sunday that migrant apprehensions early last week hovered around 10,000 a day. Those numbers dropped to 6,300 Friday and 4,200 Saturday, though Mayorkas conceded it was too early to tell if the drop off would last.