TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that Florida is deploying members of the Florida National Guard (FLNG) and members of the Florida State Guard (FSG) will be deployed to assist Texas in its efforts to stop the invasion at the southern border. Florida is offering up to a battalion of National Guard members (approximately 1,000 soldiers) to Texas, who will be deployed based on Texas’ needs. For more information about the announcement, click here.
These 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. Additional law enforcement resources are standing by and ready to deploy as requested by Texas state officials. In December, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data showed that more than 302,000 illegal immigrants were encountered attempting to cross the southern border – the highest month ever recorded.
“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,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “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.”
"This is not a new mission for us. For several years we have supported border security missions in Texas, to include both federal and state deployments," said Major General John D. Haas, The Adjutant General of Florida. "Last spring the Florida National Guard was one of the first in the nation to deploy rotations of soldiers to support Operation Lone Star in Texas, and we have proudly and readily supported our own state's efforts in similar roles here in Florida."
“The Florida State Guard is prepared to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with state agency partners in direct support of our brothers and sisters in Texas grappling with an unprecedented surge of illegal immigration along their border,” said Florida State Guard Director Mark Thieme. “The Florida State Guard is postured to deliver rapid emergency response, public safety operations and humanitarian assistance — wherever the need arises.”
Since 2021, Florida has provided direct law enforcement and military assistance to Texas, including FLNG, which supported the Texas Military Department through mission sets including static observation points, roving patrols and engineer assistance with obstacle improvement. FHP has made contact with nearly 150,000 illegal aliens, conducted over 27,000 traffic stops, resulting in 2,102 Human Smuggling or Human Trafficking charges with 2,278 overall arrests.
FDLE has sent rotations of officers to assist the Texas Department of Public Safety with arrests of violent felony suspects including gang members. Suspects were arrested on 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. FWC has deployed a total of 540 FWC personnel, 525 four-wheel drive patrol trucks and 24 vessels.
In Fiscal Year 2023, CBP recorded 2.5 million encounters – surpassing last year’s record. This includes 169 illegal immigrants on the terror watch list attempting to cross the southern border. Since Biden took office, more than 10 million illegal immigrants have crossed the border, including more than 1.7 million known gotaways. In December alone, roughly 260 million lethal doses of fentanyl were seized at the border.