TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Tuesday that he plans to send more than 1,100 National Guard soldiers and law enforcement officers to Texas to assist with border security between the United States and Mexico.
The Republican governor said he’s sending 800 soldiers, 200 Florida Department of Law Enforcement officers, 101 state troopers and 20 wildlife officers. Florida will also send five planes, 17 drones, two command vehicles and 10 boats, according to a news release. State and federal officials have been concerned about a possible surge in border crossings after pandemic-era asylum restrictions ended last week.
“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,” DeSantis said in statement.
DeSantis previously sent support to the U.S. southern border in Texas and Arizona in 2021 following requests for assistance from the governors of those states.
DeSantis, who is soon expected to announce his candidacy for the 2024 presidential race, has made immigration a major issue during his time as governor. Last week, DeSantis signed into law a sweeping immigration bill that bolsters his migrant relocation program and limits social services for immigrants lacking permanent legal status.