An influx of those illegally crossing the southern US Border is responsible for an increase in drug and other criminal activity in Florida, according to Gov. Ron DeSantis. DeSantis along with State Senate President Wilton Simpson (R-Trilby) visited Del Rio,Texas last weekend to meet with Florida law enforcement personnel on a mutual aid mission there.
In June, about 50 law enforcement personnel from the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) and the Florida Department Law Enforcement (FDLE) were deployed to Texas at the request of Gov. Greg Abbott. Since then, they apprehended 2,000 illegal border crossers and made 100 felony arrests, DeSantis said during a press conference on July 19 at the Disney Wilderness Preserve in Poinciana.
Before making the trip, DeSantis said he spoke with Sheriffs in several rural counties who reported an increase in the amount of methamphetamine entering their counties and a rise in criminal activity there.
“We've seen an unprecedented amount of narcotics being brought across the border,” he said. “ We also know that unfortunately, there would be lots of criminal aliens coming across the border - some apprehended and some not apprehended.”
Of those apprehended by the Florida contingent about 70 percent say that Florida is their ultimate destination.
“So if you think having an open border does not affect you, you're wrong,” DeSantis said. “It's going to affect county services, health care, education and it's going to affect taxpayers.”
As a result, DeSantis asked President Joe Biden to reinstate the Remain in Mexico policy. Implemented in January 2019, the policy requires that anyone arriving by land at the US/Mexico border must pass a “credible fear” screening then return to Mexico to await their asylum hearing in US immigration court. The policy was ended by Biden last month.
“I'm calling on Joe Biden to secure this border and protect the American people,” he said.
Simpson could not be reached for comment.