Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott visited the Texas border on Saturday amid the rising migrant crisis to warn Americans that the surge in illegal aliens and illegal drugs like fentanyl over the border will eventually trickle down to impact other states.
DeSantis met with Abbott on the Del Rio section of the border where the two were briefed by law enforcement on the current state the of the crisis and visited nearby affected areas of the wall, according to Fox News.
“Just the scale of this in terms of the stress of public resources, school, medical other things, this is going to greatly impact communities throughout Florida and I think across the country,” DeSantis told reporters at a press conference.
The total number of migrant encounters in fiscal year 2021 reached more than a million after Customs and Border Protection recently reported more than 188,000 encounters in June alone.
“This is a situation where all states need to be a part of the process of stepping up,” Abbott added.
Law enforcement officials informed DeSantis that the majority of migrants processed through Del Rio into the U.S. list Florida as a their final destination.
“70 percent of the people they have interdicted said their ultimate destination is the state of Florida, so this is something, whenever there’s a wave across the border, I’m not saying it’s 70 percent in every part of the border but here it’s the majority,” the Florida governor said.
Texas and Florida are both experiencing a drug problem rooted in the smuggling of illegal substances over the border. The highly dangerous and fatal drug fentanyl has seen an increase in seizures of 12 percent in June and an increase of 78 percent thus far this year when compared with all of FY2020, according to Fox News. Florida has a particularly bad methamphetamine problem and DeSantis noted that nearly all of it — 95 percent– comes from the border.
“What happens at the border happens here today, but it will be happening in these other states tomorrow or next week or next month,” Abbott warned at the press conference.
To deal with its migrant crisis, Texas has enacted Operation Lonestar to curb the surge of migrants and contraband. The project provided a $250 million down payment for a new wall construction project after the Biden administration ended the federal program. Texas has also cleared out it’s jails so they have more capacity to hold illegal aliens.
The project has resulted in the apprehension of 50,000 illegal aliens, 2,000 criminal illegal immigrants, and disrupted 40 stash houses, according to Gov. Abbott.
DeSantis reported that Florida law enforcement personnel in Texas assisted in the apprehension of more than 2,800 illegal immigrants, and reached 100 arrests for felonies including human trafficking, drug smuggling and vehicle theft.
The governors each remain committed to combatting the border crisis and working together however they can on behalf of their local communities after President Biden rescinded Trump’s tough immigration policy.
Both governors point to this rollback by Democrats and the administration as causation for the rising number of illegals and contraband at the border.
The disaster at our border is a direct result of the Biden Administration ending Trump border policies that curbed illegal immigration, the influx of drugs, and human smuggling. pic.twitter.com/TXhq8nsp3E
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) July 17, 2021
“We appreciate you stepping up where the federal government won’t. We understand how important this is to not just Texas but other states and we are absolutely going to see impacts in Florida and other states if we don’t turn the tide on this,” DeSantis told Abbott.
The states’ efforts to address the crisis come on the heels of a call for help from other states issued by Abbott and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, asking other states to provide personnel and law enforcement at the border. Florida, South Dakota and Iowa were the states to answer that plea.