DeSantis Is Sending 'Cavalry' to Mexico Border

He's sending 1.1K personnel to Texas, along with planes, boats, drones
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 16, 2023 5:30 PM CDT
DeSantis Is Sending 1.1K Personnel to Mexico Border
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during an Iowa GOP reception, Saturday, May 13, 2023, at The Hotel at Kirkwood Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.   (Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen via AP)

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says he's sending a formidable force, including planes, boats, drones, and more than 1,100 personnel, to help "defend" the border with Mexico. The Republican, who is expected to announce a White House bid within weeks, said the deployment will include 800 members of the Florida National Guard, 200 agents from the state Department of Law Enforcement, 101 state highway patrol troopers, and 20 agents from other state agencies, NBC reports. DeSantis sent around 100 law enforcement officers to the border in a similar move in 2021.

DeSantis said the personnel are being sent to the border for 30 days but extensions are possible. He cited the end of COVID-era Title 42 restrictions at the border, though the change last week was not immediately followed by the expected surge in migrants. "While Biden ignores the crisis he created, Florida stands ready to help Texas respond to this crisis," he said, per the Hill. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Tuesday that he had asked governors to help the state with its "unprecedented border security efforts." He said DeSantis and Idaho Gov. Brad Little had already offered resources.

"Given the crisis at the border, we decided to send in the cavalry," said Taryn Fenske, the governor's communications director. Some of the governor’s critics called the move a "political stunt," the Miami Herald reports. "What an irresponsible waste of critical state resources by DeSantis for his own performative national politics," tweeted former GOP Rep. David Jolly. (More Ron DeSantis stories.)

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