Florida Governor Ron DeSantis traveled to the Texas border to receive a security briefing with Governor Abbott on Saturday. In June, DeSantis responded to a plea issued from Abbott and Arizona Governor Ducey to all fifty governors – help border states secure the southern border. Some governors responded with pledges of sending National Guardsmen and law enforcement to work with agencies on the ground. DeSantis answered, “Florida has your back.” According to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), Florida sent 58 personnel as well as a plane and five shallow water boats.
Today, I join Gov @GregAbbott_TX with leaders from Texas & Florida to send a clear message to Washington — our states will enforce the law while the Biden Administration neglects its duty. Law enforcement from across the country are ready and willing to help secure our border.
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) July 17, 2021
The meeting was held at the Del Rio International Airport with state and local officials. During the briefing, Abbott referenced Operation Lone Star and its successes. The Texas National Guard and DPS are partnered to combat the smuggling of people and drugs into Texas.
Since early this year, Abbott has echoed sentiments laying blame for the surge on the Biden administration. Saturday was no different.
“Why is this happening? This is happening because of the massive change in policies by the Biden administration,” said Abbott. “Where the Trump administration had in place policies that were working and led to a dramatic decrease in the number of people coming across the border. Those policies were abandoned and in their place, the Biden administration has imposed open border policies….”
According to Abbott, since the state’s Operation Lone Star began, around 50,000 “illegal” migrants have been apprehended. Abbott also said they’ve detained about 2,000 “criminal aliens” (the term “alien” is no longer used by U.S. immigration agencies) and disrupted about 40 stash houses.
DeSantis voiced his concern about the increase in drug trafficking at the border and the fact that the drugs end up in Florida. Drug cartels are operating at the southern border and having great success, earning millions of dollars using humans as drug mules.
During the event, DeSantis explained his presence was also due to migration over Texas’ border and to Florida. He said after speaking to border sheriffs and volunteers, 95% of methamphetamine coming into Florida is coming through Texas. Additionally, DeSantis said 70% of traffickers who’ve been interdicted by officials said Florida was their “ultimate destination.”
“This [drug trafficking] is having a direct impact on the people in Florida and the country,” DeSantis said.
When @GovAbbott sent out a call for help to secure our southern border, Florida answered. Today, more than 50 officers from Florida state law enforcement are deployed in Texas, fighting human smuggling and drug trafficking at the border. pic.twitter.com/5FDbqjJakI
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) July 18, 2021
In just 23 days, more than 50 Florida state law enforcement have helped apprehend more than 2,800 illegal aliens and assisted with more than 100 criminal arrests for felonies ranging from human smuggling to drug trafficking. pic.twitter.com/DDrpBGXzX1
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) July 18, 2021
Governor Abbott said that all governors should get involved in helping to secure the southern border, given the fact that the federal government refuses to do so and continues to prove its ineptness. Several Republican governors have sent help but so far, only one Democrat governor has responded in the affirmative. Abbott mentioned Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, Arkansas and Ohio during the briefing.
One Democrat state legislator piped up from Washington, D.C. where he is saving democracy with fellow members of the Texas House of Representatives and a few state senators. (sarcasm) He criticizes Abbott’s focus on border security and calls it a distraction away from other issues.
“Lately, it’s certainly hip among certain Republican governors to say, ‘well, we’re gonna send troops and National Guard to the southern border to help out,’ and I’m not quite sure what their plan is,” Dominguez, who was one of the Democrats to break quorum and flee to Capitol Hill, said.
“I think this is certainly another tactic in his arsenal to distract from mistakes, failures and inadequacies in his leadership,” Dominguez explained. “What we should be focusing on is shoring up that energy grid, making sure that Texans’ economic futures are secure.”
Speaking of distractions, what is that trip to D.C.? Democrat legislators from Texas are breaking quorum in the special session rather than take votes on an agenda of which they do not approve. They prefer to run away and be useful idiots for national Democrats in D.C. while pretending they are brave heroes standing up for democracy. There is nothing brave or bold in the act of running.
The fact is that the special session is not a single issue session. The Texas State Senate continues the work, as it has a quorum. They passed legislation on bail laws as crime explodes throughout many areas of the state. And, they passed legislation on the 13th check for retired teachers and school staff. None of this matters, though, if Democrats remain in D.C. until the end of the special session. The bills will languish and have to be brought up and voted on all over again in the next special session, currently scheduled for August 8.
Abbott says criticism of state efforts to secure the border and deal with the flood of illegal migrants wouldn’t be so easy for Democrats if actions happening to residents and landowners along the border was happening in their communities.
“Whether it be having their yards or their fences cut, their cattle and livestock released, their homes invaded, it could be people who are brandishing guns — there are challenges that people in Val Verde County as well as similar counties across this region… are facing,” Abbott said. “If people in Houston and Dallas were facing those same challenges, they would be demanding a response exactly like what we are responding to right here,” Abbott said.
The number of illegal migrants apprehended on the southern border continues to grow. ICE is so overwhelmed that the agency is going back to the Obama days of catch and release. There is no end to the Biden border crisis in sight. Governors along the border are using the tools available to them since there is inadequate federal response and support.