TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Gov. Ron DeSantis, along with a group of Republican lawmakers and state law enforcement officers, were in Texas on Saturday to discuss security along the Mexican border with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
DeSantis was joined in Del Rio, Texas by Attorney General Ashley Moody; Senate President Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby; Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Lt. Col. Brian Smith; Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Rick Swearingen; and Florida Highway Patrol Col. Gene Spaulding.
Last month, DeSantis responded to a request from Abbott and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey for help in battling illegal immigration at the border by sending more than 50 Florida law-enforcement officers to the Lone Star State.
DeSantis said the mutual-aid effort will protect Florida, in part because of drugs crossing the border and landing in areas such as North Florida.
Florida has filed a federal lawsuit challenging immigration-enforcement decisions by President Joe Biden’s administration. Moody has argued that the Biden administration has shirked its responsibilities in enforcing immigration laws and threatened public safety.
Democrats described the deployment of Florida law officers to the border as a "political stunt," however.
"Floridians are living through multiple crises including historic protests for Cuban freedom, the worst red tide in years, recovery efforts from the tragic Surfside collapse, and once-again skyrocketing COVID-19 cases --- but this governor chooses to skip town and play Border Patrol," Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, a Democrat running for governor, said in a prepared statement released Friday.
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