Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday announced that he is sending National Guard troops from his state to support Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s efforts to stop the influx of illegal immigration at the southern border.
In a Thursday morning press conference, DeSantis announced he is offering a battalion of “up to” 1,000 soldiers of the Florida National Guard to help secure Texas’ border. A National Guard spokesperson said 100 troops are being sent initially.
“We are here to join as Floridians to say that we need to stop this invasion at our southern border once and for all,” said DeSantis, standing in front of members of the Florida National Guard and a sign that said, “stop the invasion.”
Additionally, the Florida State Guard will be deployed, which marks the first time that group has been deployed out of state.
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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, left, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
“Biden has the authority to close this border today,” DeSantis said. “If he wanted to, he lacks the will to get the job done. He lacks the capacity to see the problem for what it is and to get the job done.”
Over a dozen states have announced that they support Abbott’s agenda on illegal immigration and have said they will provide resources to help him secure the border amid record levels of illegal immigration.
Abbott is currently fighting multiple legal battles with the Biden administration. The federal government has threatened legal action over Texas’ seizure of Shelby Park near Eagle Pass, while lawsuits are ongoing over the administration’s cutting of razor wire set up by Texas and the establishment of buoys in the Rio Grande.
The Supreme Court recently found in the administration’s favor when it granted an emergency appeal to allow agents to keep cutting border wire set up by Texas along the border. Texas this week published images of it strengthening physical barriers along Eagle Pass.
The administration has also sued over a recently signed law that allows Texas state and local officials to arrest illegal immigrants. The administration has accused Texas of interfering with federal control over immigration and border security, and has said it is putting agents and migrants in danger.
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Abbott, however, cited constitutional language that demands the federal government “protect each [State] against invasion” and the right of states to protect their own borders.
Abbott argues that “the failure of the Biden administration” to fulfill those duties triggers a clause in Article 1 that “reserves to this State the right of self-defense.” He notes he has already declared an “invasion” to invoke the authority, which he calls “the supreme law of the land and supersedes any federal statutes to the contrary.”
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“If the Constitution really made states powerless to defend themselves against an invasion, it wouldn’t have been ratified in the first place and Texas would have never joined the union when it did,” DeSantis wrote on social media recently.
This article has been updated to include additional information