SIERRA VISTA, ARIZONA — Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced a partnership on Wednesday with law enforcement leaders from states across the country to help combat the crisis at the U.S. southern border.
The governor revealed that a formal alliance is in the works to bring together “all like-minded sheriffs and governors around the country” to establish a “coalition of people that actually do have the will to fight back against this problem.”
DeSantis said Florida will offer its counter-drug task force training to help law enforcement agencies in other states deal with multi-agency criminal interdictions.
“I think this has been a massive dereliction of duty by our president,” DeSantis said. “It is not that difficult to have a stable border. Other countries do it.”
Attorney General Ashley Moody, Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Mark Glass, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd and Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey joined DeSantis in representing the Sunshine State during a roundtable discussion with sheriffs from Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, Idaho and Georgia. The group met at Cochise College in the small town of Sierra Vista, Arizona.
“We’re probably not going to be able to solve everything, because I think we need [Washington] D.C. to get in gear, but I think we’re going to be able to make a difference,” the governor added.
“I can tell you, what we’ve done in Florida has saved lives. What you [sheriffs] are doing here has saved lives. And so if we’re pooling our efforts, I think it’s going to be something that’s going to be really, really positive.”
FOLLOWING THE FLORIDA MODEL
The governor touted reforms passed in Florida that prohibit sanctuary cities, restrict local governments from issuing ID cards to illegal immigrants and require E-Verify to help enforce employment laws.
“It’s a model that’s actually been very effective,” DeSantis said of Florida’s approach to illegal immigration. “Throughout Florida our counties work together, but there’s no reason why we can’t be working with Texas [and] with Arizona at the local level and at the state level on all these things.”
The meeting marked the governor’s first appearance at the border as a presidential candidate and he used it to contrast his approach to the issue with that of President Biden.
“This country is falling on its face with respect to ensuring the sovereignty of our country,” DeSantis said. “The federal government could solve these problems if it had the will to do it. Maybe it will get the will at some point in the future. But in the meantime, we need to come and work hard, together.”