By Daniel Stefanski |
Arizona’s frontline status with the crisis at America’s southern border led to a surprise, influential visitor this week.
On Wednesday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, in his official capacity, traveled to the southern border in Sierra Vista, alongside his Attorney General, Ashley Moody, who has been instrumental in filing many lawsuits against the federal government.
DeSantis convened two roundtables with a number of sheriffs from Arizona, Florida, and other states, listening to their stories and talking about solutions to mitigate the worsening crisis at the border.
After the meetings at Cochise College, Sheriff Mark Dannels, a national leader on border security and local enforcement, escorted his out-of-state guests to the border, where they gained a fresh, first-hand perspective of the deteriorating situation.
In a release sent out by the Florida Governor’s Office, Governor DeSantis used the visit to “highlight Florida’s successful actions to combat illegal immigration within the state and along the southern border.” Those measures include “new methods for combating human smuggling and drug trafficking across state lines and the relocation of illegal aliens who wish to be transported to so-called sanctuary states and cities.” DeSantis also announced that “Florida’s law enforcement agencies are offering trainings for other states that want to follow Florida’s lead on protecting citizens from the impacts of Biden’s Border Crisis.”
The second-term Sunshine State governor issued the following statement in conjunction with his mid-week stop in the Grand Canyon State: “Joe Biden is derelict in the performance of his duties and refuses to uphold the borders of our nation. In Florida, we’re stepping up even as the federal government falls down on the job. We enacted strong legislation to combat illegal immigration, sent law enforcement officers and equipment to the border, and have dedicated resources to divert migrants to sanctuary jurisdictions. Today we’re taking Florida’s no-nonsense approach to border enforcement nationwide.”
Dannels was extremely complimentary of the Florida team that descended on his county, appreciating their efforts to partner with him and other members of law enforcement, saying, “This is not about politics, folks. This is about doing what is right, which everyone in this room that works for government has taken an oath to do. So thank you guys for what you do. We pledge to you both and all our governors, all our sheriffs, all our law enforcement, our prosecutors, our county attorneys, our mayors to work united to fix these borders, secure our borders, and get America back.”
Another Arizona sheriff, P.J. Allred of Graham County, was at the table with the Florida chief executive and gave the following remarks: “When most people come from the south to come to the United States, my little county is probably not their destination, but they come through us and we feel them when they come through us. When we’ve encountered them after a pursuit through the desert, when they see us as law enforcement and the vehicles come to a stop, they run to us as law enforcement to get away from the coyotes that were carrying them. I appreciate all of you for being here, being interested in our country, our freedoms, our rights.”
At least two state legislators appeared to be in attendance for DeSantis’ southern Arizona check-in: House Speaker Ben Toma and Representative Gail Griffin. Toma tweeted a picture with DeSantis, writing, “My pleasure to help welcome Governor Ron DeSantis to Arizona and to share details of our border crisis. Glad to hear we share the same determination to secure the southern border once and for all.”
Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.