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In border trip this week, DeSantis joins growing list of political visits to Cochise County

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was in Arizona this week for his first trip to the border region as a presidential candidate. DeSantis met with local law enforcement personnel including Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels in a surprise visit to Sierra Vista on Wednesday. The city is about 30 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border.

Southern Arizona Congressman Raúl Grijalva, whose district encompasses parts of Cochise County,  tweetedthat DeSantis’ visit was “to pander to the same old race baiting anti-immigrant extremist politicians and officials in southern Arizona."

Both Dannels and DeSantis have been outspoken critics of border policy under the Biden administration. The Florida governor is latest in a growing list of mostly-conservative lawmakers to visit Cochise County in recent months.

Last summer, DeSantis arranged a flight to transport migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard in one of several relocation actions staged by GOP-led states. 

Criminal charges including unlawful restraint were  recently filed by a Texas sheriff's office over the flights.

Alisa Reznick is a senior field correspondent covering stories across southern Arizona and the borderlands for the Tucson bureau of KJZZ's Fronteras Desk.