DeSantis Highlights Florida's Efforts Against Border, Fentanyl Crisis

DeSantis Highlights Florida's Efforts Against Border, Fentanyl Crisis

Grayson Bakich
Grayson Bakich
May 6, 2023

As the 2023 Florida legislative session came to an end, Governor Ron DeSantis (R) spoke of Florida's efforts to combat the border and fentanyl crises.

Gov. DeSantis referred to efforts in the Florida Straits aiding the Coast Guard in intercepting boats, which he had previously discussed in January. As a result, there have been 11,000 repatriations since August, and the number of vessels attempting to enter Florida has declined sharply.

"What we've seen is our actions have been very effective. If you look at what we've done in the Florida Straits, we've surged resources to help the Coast Guard. There have been, I think 11,000 repatriations from interdicted vessels to Haiti and Cuba just since August, and the number of vessels really went down when they realized that wasn't something that you could do, so we really made an impact on that part of the problem," said Gov. DeSantis.

However, DeSantis acknowledged the border crisis is far greater than Florida and will require cooperation with other states because of the "catastrophic failure of policy on behalf of the federal government," especially with the massive quantities of fentanyl smuggled over the border.

"We also understand that this is a larger problem. We've worked with sheriffs in other parts of the country. We may be having an announcement soon about maybe a more coordinated effort to respond to what is a catastrophic failure of policy on behalf of the federal government. I mean, to have millions and millions of people flood into the country illegally, to have the cartels running our border, to have fentanyl pouring in in record numbers," DeSantis continued.

He briefly discussed the opioid crisis and Florida's efforts to combat the scourge of fentanyl, referencing the Coordinated Opioid Recovery (CORE) network he had launched and its February expansion.

"We're having all these fentanyl overdose deaths, and there's a lot of other issues with it. It's not just the supply, we've worked hard in Florida against the demand and on the treatment with our CORE network, and we're proud of doing that. But this stuff just flooding in is affecting communities all across this country," stated DeSantis.

Finally, DeSantis called the entire situation "outrageous," adding Florida has been doing all it can to combat the border and fentanyl crises since their impacts are nationwide.

"I think it's been absolutely outrageous what's happened, and I think anything we've been able to do to push back on it, we've done because it's an issue that's important to every single community in this country, not just the south Texas border towns that are being overrun by this," DeSantis concluded.

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Grayson Bakich

Grayson Bakich

Florida born and raised, Grayson Bakich is a recent recipient of a Master’s Degree in Political Science at the University of Central Florida. His thesis examined recent trends in political polarization and how this leads into justification of violence.

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