TALLAHASSEE, FL—As Governor Ron DeSantis prepares to send thousands of National and State Guardsmen to the Texas Border, Florida Republicans and Democrats agree on one thing: the border is failing, and Florida should help secure it. In two exclusive interviews with The Floridian, top Legislators talked about border protections.
"I think the border is a serious issue, and I said it on the Floor last year: Biden sucks at the border, and Trump sucked at it, and Obama sucked at it, and no President's been good about it because no one wants to draw a bright line rule," Democratic Sen. Jason Pizzo told The Floridian. From 2021 to 2022, illegal immigrant encounters rose nearly 33 percent.
"I used personal funds to sue the Governor and the Florida Department of Transportation for the migrant flights from San Antonio to Martha's Vineyard because that was using taxpayer dollars for people that were already basically pending asylum. These were not the nefarious fentanyl mules that the preamble of all these bills in the discussion was about," said Sen. Pizzo.
"However, if they were asking for funds to be appropriated to send law enforcement from the state of Florida to buttress and support border security, I would be for it," Pizzo added. Gov. DeSantis is doing just that in the form of Florida's newly resurrected and armed State Guard, planning to send 1,000 National Guard troops and an unstated number of State Guardsman to Texas' border.
Republican Sen. Blaise Ingoglia, who has sponsored a series of immigration bills, agreed. He explained the necessity of showing the Federal Government that the states want immigration security, though he acknowledged the issue of federal versus state immigration authority, in which the Federal Government is primarily responsible for immigration laws.
"What Texas Governor Abbott is doing is a novel idea that is most likely going to be tested by the courts. This is to show the Federal Government that the states will band together and push back on the Federal Government because of what we are terming as an invasion," Sen. Ingoglia The Floridian.
"This border issue isn't going to go away, I can definitely see the Federal Government trying to federalize the National Guard, I can see more states trying to send National Guard and other deputized members," He continued, referencing the likely legal battles that will ensue between the states and the courts in terms of jurisdiction. "It is going to come to a head. Hopefully, it'll be in the courts before it's actually at the border,"