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2 Feb, 2024 13:48

Florida sends troops to stop migrant ‘invasion’

Around 1,000 national guardsmen will help Texas fortify the US-Mexico border
Florida sends troops to stop migrant ‘invasion’

Governor Ron DeSantis has announced that he will deploy members of the Florida National Guard to assist Texas in repelling an “invasion” of illegal immigrants. US President Joe Biden’s administration has fought to prevent Texas from sealing the border.

Roughly 1,000 soldiers will be sent to Texas, DeSantis’ office said in a statement on Thursday. They will be joined by members of the Florida State Guard, and around 90 members of various Florida law enforcement agencies already at the border.

“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. “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.”

During his first week in office, Biden signed a flurry of executive orders repealing former President Donald Trump’s immigration restrictions. Illegal crossings have surged as a result, with a record 302,000 people caught crossing the 2,000-mile border in December, and more than 10 million entering the US since 2021. Under Biden’s policy of ‘catch and release’, apprehended migrants are immediately released into the US, with orders to show up at immigration hearings years in the future.

Texas – which shares more than 1,200 miles of border with Mexico – deployed national guardsmen to the border in 2021 and began constructing razor wire obstacles at popular crossing points. The Biden administration responded by suing the state, and the Supreme Court ruled last month that federal agents could access the border to remove the razor wire.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott vowed to defy the ruling and install more wire, arguing that the Biden administration has neglected the constitutional obligation to enforce federal immigration law, and that his duty to protect his constituents supersedes any federal laws. 

Although the Department of Homeland Security gave Abbott three days to begin removing the obstacles late last month, a US Customs and Border Patrol official told Fox News that the agency had “no plans” to move in and destroy the barriers after Abbott ignored the deadline.

Some 25 Republican governors issued a joint statement of solidarity with Abbott last week, accusing Biden of “illegally allowing mass parole across America of migrants who entered our country illegally.”

Florida has been sending law enforcement officers and soldiers to assist Texas since 2021. National Guard troops have built obstacles and observation posts, while Florida Highway Patrol officers have apprehended almost 150,000 illegal aliens and charged 2,102 people with smuggling or human trafficking charges, DeSantis’ office said.



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