'Inflection point': Gov. Ron DeSantis sends Florida National, State Guard to Texas

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Gov. Ron DeSantis is sending Florida National Guard and State Guard members to Texas to assist with placing razor wire along the southern border, DeSantis announced Thursday.

The Supreme Court ruled last week that the federal government had the power to remove razor wire and other barriers the Texas government erected at the border, but Texas National Guard continued placing the wire last week.

Florida will send up to 1,000 National Guard members and State Guard volunteers to assist Texas "relatively shortly."

“The goal is to help Texas fortify this border, help them strengthen the barricades, help them add barriers, help them add the wire that they need to so that we can stop this invasion once and for all,” DeSantis said from Jacksonville’s Cecil Airport Thursday morning. “And the states have to band together.”

DeSantis repeated the inflammatory language Republicans have used to describe the tens of thousands of asylum-seekers and other migrants arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border. Those seeking asylum typically turn themselves in to Border Patrol agents between ports of entry. Other migrants, including many from Mexico, try to sneak in and evade border agents.

The razor wire hasn't discouraged migrants; many, including children, are risking serious injury as they cross through the reams of concertina.

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DeSantis lauded the Florida State Guard last week in Kissimmee, telling attendees at a press conference on semiconductor manufacturing that he wanted the volunteer guard to help control immigration at Texas southern border.

Bills currently being considered by the Florida Legislature (HB 1551/SB 1694) allow DeSantis to send the guard to other states.

The State Guard became inactive in 1947 after being established in World War II to replace deployed Florida National Guard members.

DeSantis revived the State Guard in 2022, and the Legislature increased funding from $10 million to $107.6 million. The force tripled from 400 to 1,500 members last year.

Other Republican-led states have loaned their own National Guard troops on border missions to Texas, including Oklahoma and Iowa.

Contributing: Lauren Villagren, USA TODAY

This article originally appeared on Florida Times-Union: DeSantis sends Florida National, State Guard to Texas southern border