TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - More than 50 law enforcement officers in Florida will head to Texas and Arizona on Monday to help with border-control efforts. This all comes after leaders in both states requested help in battling illegal immigration.
Governor Ron DeSantis said the mutual-aid effort will also protect Florida, in part, because some of the drugs crossing the border have ended up in the state.
"But we also understand it's an issue affecting states like Florida," he said. "I'd met just weeks ago some of our rural sheriffs in North Florida and their number one concern is all the meth that's coming in, and all the meth that's coming in from the Southern border now."
Democrats have described the deployment as a political stunt by the governor.
On Friday, DeSantis said he anticipates traveling to the border to visit the state officers while they are deployed. Individual deployments are expected to last 16 days.
"Hopefully, I'll be able to get out there at some point to wish them well, when they're on the ground," DeSantis said. Officers from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and the Florida Highway Patrol will head west this week.
Other Republican governors also are backing the request from Abbott and Ducey for officers to go to the border, as the GOP tries to capitalize on public-safety issues ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.
Idaho Gov. Brad Little, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, and Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced plans to send troopers to Texas.
Costs for the deployment of Florida officers are expected to be picked up by Florida.
News Service of Florida contributed to this report