Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced Thursday he will be deploying members of the National Guard to “assist” Texas at the southern border, where Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has declared an invasion amid a surge in migrant border crossings.
DeSantis said he will be sending members of the Florida National Guard and members of the Florida State Guard to help Texas “in its efforts to stop the invasion at the southern border.” The announcement stated that Florida has offered up to 1,000 of its National Guard members “based on Texas’s needs.”
“States have every right to defend their sovereignty and we are pleased to increase our support to Texas as the Lone Star State works to stop the invasion across the border,” DeSantis said in a statement. “Our reinforcements will help Texas to add additional barriers, including razor wire along the border. We don’t have a country if we don’t have a border.”
Abbott doubled down on his declaration of an invasion at the southern border in recent weeks, after the Supreme Court ruled that U.S. Border Patrol agents are allowed to remove razor wire Texas law enforcement has installed at the border.
This is not the first time Florida has sent its own forces to the southern border. Last year, DeSantis announced his state was sending troops and personnel from state agencies to Texas to help “defend” itself at the border. Florida has sent direct law enforcement and military assistance to Texas since 2021, the DeSantis administration noted in the Thursday announcement.
This comes as a bill moving through the Florida Legislature aims to remove a requirement that the Florida State Guard “be used exclusively within state,” according to H.B. 1551. It also would allow DeSantis to activate the Florida State Guard any time that is “deemed necessary.”