Gov. Ron DeSantis has announced that he will deploy a battalion of the Florida National Guard (FLNG) (approximately 1000 soldiers) and members of the Florida State Guard to assist Texas in its efforts to stop the influx of migrants to that southern border state. DeSantis said the deployed service members will add additional barriers, including razor wire along the border.
“States have every right to defend their sovereignty and we are pleased to increase our support to Texas,” DeSantis said on Feb. 1 while announcing the deployment. “We don’t have a country if we don’t have a border.”
At the same time, the Florida Guard will deliver rapid emergency response, public safety operations and humanitarian assistance.
“Wherever the need arises,” said Florida State Guard Director Mark Thieme.
The latest deployments are in addition to the more than 90 officers from the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) that are currently deployed to the border, DeSantis’ office said.
Specifically, FHP has made contact with nearly 150,000 illegal aliens and conducted over 27,000 traffic stops, resulting in 2,102 Human Smuggling or Human Trafficking charges with 2,278 overall arrests. The FDLE has assisted the Texas Department of Public Safety with the arrests of those suspected of various Texas state charges, including human smuggling, burglary, firearms, smuggling of persons, smuggling of persons with a firearm, child endangerment, escape from federal custody and possession of controlled substance.
According to the Governor’s office, Florida has provided Texas with direct law enforcement and military assistance since 2021.