(CTN NEWS) – Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis unveiled his comprehensive immigration policy proposal during a visit to a Texas border city.
Outlining his commitment to terminating birthright citizenship, completing the southern border wall, and deploying U.S. forces to combat drug cartels operating in Mexico.
Confident Stance Amid Criticism of Failure to Address Immigration Issues
This bold plan, which marks Governor DeSantis’ first detailed policy release as a 2024 contender, aligns closely with the longstanding Republican immigration agenda and bears a striking resemblance to the policies championed by former President Donald Trump.
However, the implementation of many aspects of DeSantis’ proposal would require substantial challenges to be overcome, such as overturning legal precedents, securing international approval, or even amending the U.S. Constitution.
Despite the formidable obstacles, DeSantis exuded confidence during his visit, criticizing leaders from both political parties for their failure to address what he referred to as an “invasion” of immigrants.
His remarks were delivered while touring Eagle Pass, a community that has become a significant transit point for illegal border crossings under President Joe Biden’s administration.
Addressing an audience comprised of approximately 100 residents, including local Democratic officials, school teachers, and mothers who have tragically lost children to fentanyl overdoses.
Ron DeSantis, the Republican presidential candidate, expressed his frustration with the ongoing inaction on immigration issues in Washington, D.C. spanning decades, irrespective of party lines.
He emphasized his determination to bring a conclusive resolution to this pressing matter, leaving no room for excuses.
Drawing a parallel between illegal border crossings and home invasions, DeSantis highlighted the gravity of the situation and issued a stern warning to drug traffickers attempting to smuggle their illicit substances into the United States.
He emphasized that those who engage in such dangerous activities may face severe consequences, even to the point of losing their lives.
DeSantis posed a question to the audience, questioning why forceful action is not taken when faced with intruders seeking to harm their homes. In the same vein, he advocated for a similar response at the southern border.
He firmly asserted that if drug cartels attempt to breach the border wall or smuggle drugs into the country, they will face grave repercussions and could ultimately pay with their lives due to the dangerous choices they make.
DeSantis Takes Strong Stance on Immigration, Faces Challenges and Competition
He confidently declared, “And once we do that, once we respond with force, they will never dare to tamper with our wall again.”
As the DeSantis campaign prepares to release more detailed policy proposals in the following weeks, the two-term governor of Florida has made immigration a focal point, prioritizing a divisive issue that has long resonated with the most conservative factions of the GOP.
However, his use of terms like “invasion” in reference to immigrants has drawn condemnation from pro-immigrant organization America’s Voice, who assert that such language has been employed by white supremacists.
Nevertheless, the political landscape has seen a shift in recent months, with even centrist voters increasingly favoring more assertive immigration policies amid a surge in illegal border crossings. According to a recent AP-NORC poll, a majority of 6 in 10 adults in the U.S. disapprove of President Biden’s handling of immigration.
Nonetheless, Ron DeSantis may face challenges in distinguishing himself on the immigration front from the multitude of other Republicans vying for the 2024 presidential nomination, particularly given the prominence of front-runner Donald Trump.
Nevertheless, this did not deter him from making the effort.
Standing behind a podium adorned with the words “No Excuses” and “Stop the Invasion,” DeSantis drew attention to the fact that more immigrants were deported during the first four years of the Obama administration compared to Trump’s initial term.
He made subtle allusions to the unfinished border wall, indirectly highlighting his contrast with his chief rival, the former president, who was unable to complete the entire 1,950-mile U.S.-Mexico border wall during his presidency.
Trump and DeSantis Clash on Immigration as Feud Intensifies
Ahead of the announcement, the DeSantis campaign released new merchandise featuring the slogan “Build The Wall. No Excuses.”
Trump, watching DeSantis on television, dismissed the trip as “a total waste of time,” describing him as a failed candidate attempting to emulate Trump’s achievements in border security.
The ongoing feud between Trump and DeSantis, marked by policy and personality clashes, will persist as both men campaign in New Hampshire.
However, regardless of their location, immigration remains a central focus of their messages.
Trump underscored immigration during his keynote address at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s conference in Washington, pledging to carry out extensive deportation operations and boasting about the completion of over 300 miles of border wall during his presidency.
He expressed intent to build even more should he secure another term.
While Trump’s policies aimed to restrict immigration, the number of border crossings increased during his tenure before declining due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
These policies also led to significant backlogs in the immigration court system and raised concerns regarding human rights violations, such as the Remain in Mexico program and family separations at the border.
Echoes of the Past: DeSantis Acknowledges Similar Promises Made in the 2016 Election
Facing reporters, DeSantis affirmed that he would take a more “aggressive” approach to implementing robust immigration policies compared to Trump if elected president.
He expressed agreement with Trump’s stance but acknowledged that similar promises were made during the 2016 election.
Like Trump, DeSantis pledged to end birthright citizenship granted under the Constitution, stating that babies born on U.S. soil should not automatically receive citizenship.
He also vowed to eliminate the catch-and-release policy, which allows the release of immigrants in the country illegally until their court hearings, citing insufficient detention capacity.
DeSantis proposed reinstating the Remain in Mexico policy, which requires asylum-seekers to await their U.S. immigration court hearings in Mexico—a plan contingent on Mexico’s approval.
He also aimed to close the “Flores loophole,” a federal court order that sets a time limit for detaining families, though it remains unclear how this could be achieved.
DeSantis Unveils Strategy to Combat Drug Cartels and Address Border Challenges
Regarding drug cartels, DeSantis pledged to employ military force if necessary and stated his intent to secure U.S. territory from cartel activities.
His plan called for the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard to block precursor chemicals from entering Mexican ports if the Mexican government fails to address cartel drug manufacturing.
DeSantis’s plan offered limited details regarding the millions of undocumented immigrants already residing in the United States, aside from a promise to deport those who have overstayed their visas—an enduring challenge that authorities have struggled to address for decades.
In September, the tragic drowning of nine individuals attempting to cross the Rio Grande drew international attention to the small border city of Eagle Pass.
DeSantis supported a suggestion from an audience member that the border situation could be considered an “act of war,” asserting that the state of Texas had the right to declare an invasion.
He emphasized his constitutional duty, as president under Article 2, to protect the country, promising robust action in fulfilling that responsibility.
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