DeSantis sending police to Mexican border
Lee County Sheriff's Office among agencies committed to sending officers
Governor Ron DeSantis has committed state and local law enforcement officers to be sent to Texas and Arizona to respond to requests from governors in Arizona and Texas to deal with illegal immigration.
The Lee County Sheriff’s Office is one of nine sheriff’s departments in the state committed to sending aid in addition to the state Highway Patrol, state Department of Law Enforcement and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno said he immediately agreed “without hesitation” to provide officers after being requested by the office of DeSantis.
“It’s the right thing to do,” Marceno said. “We are going to do everything we can to assist.”
Marceno said those chosen to go to the border areas will be given 16-day tours though the number of deputies hasn’t been determined or potential dates for their deployment.
The office of DeSantis is expected to provide the Lee County Sheriff’s Office with that direction after communicating with the governors of Arizona and Texas. “We are all one team,” Marceno said.
Marceno compared the response called upon by DeSantis to border emergencies declared in Arizona and Texas, to assistance provided to Florida durings its emergencies from those states. Marceno noted that Florida has been assisted during hurricanes by teams deployed from Arizona and Texas.
Marceno stressed that the decisions that will be made to assist Arizona and Texas at their borders will not affect the level of protection Lee County residents are accustomed to.
“In no way, shape or form are we taking resources away,” Marceno said.
Marceno applauded the governor for his job during the pandemic and for having “always supported law enforcement.” He said the state was “blessed” to have DeSantis leading the state.
“America’s border security crisis impacts every state and every American,” said DeSantis in a statement announcing the move. “The Biden Administration ended policies implemented by President Trump that were curbing illegal immigration, securing our border, and keeping Americans safe.”
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, last month there were more than 180,000 illegal immigrants caught attempting entry along the Southwest Border.
Marceno expressed concern for an increase in criminal activity entering the country due to the reported upticks in border-crossing attempts, including reported criminals. “We don’t want that criminal element here,” he said.
“We will do our part and make sure people are safe,” Marceno said.
The following sheriff’s offices and state law enforcement agencies have committed to sending aid as of Wednesday:
The Florida Highway Patrol
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Brevard County Sheriff’s Office
Escambia County Sheriff’s Office
Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
Holmes County Sheriff’s Office
Lee County Sheriff’s Office
Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office
Pasco County Sheriff’s Office
Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office
Walton County Sheriff’s Office