DeSantis unveils aggressive immigration and border security policy that largely mirrors Trump’s

EAGLE PASS, Texas (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis has vowed to end birthright citizenship, complete construction of the southern border wall and send U.S. forces to Mexico to fight drug cartels as part of an aggressive — and familiar — immigration policy proposal he presented Monday in a Texas border town.

The sweeping immigration plan is the Florida governor’s first detailed policy as the 2024 nominee and represents a long-established wish list of Republican immigration proposals that largely mirror the policies of former President Donald Trump. Much of DeSantis’ plan faces great difficulties, requiring the reversal of legal precedents, the approval of other countries, or even an amendment to the US Constitution.

Still, DeSantis projected confidence on Monday as he slapped Democrats and Republicans alike as he announced his new plan, which he detailed in more detail in Eagle Pass, Texas, a community of about 30,000 located on the along the US-Mexico border.

“For decades, leaders on both sides have produced empty promises on border security, and now is the time to act to stop the invasion once and for all,” DeSantis said in a statement. “As president, I will declare a national emergency on Day One, we will have no rest until we build the wall, close the illegal entrances and win the war against the drug cartels. apologies. We’ll do it.

The DeSantis campaign has promised to release more detailed policy rollouts in the coming weeks. But in leading with immigration, DeSantis is prioritizing a divisive issue that has long been at the center of the most conservative GOP voters. At the same time, center and left voters have noticed that illegal border crossings have increased in recent years.

Overall, 6 in 10 adults in the United States disapprove of President Joe Biden’s handling of immigration, according to a recent AP-NORC poll.

Still, it may be difficult for DeSantis to separate himself on immigration from the many other Republicans seeking the 2024 presidential nomination — especially Trump, who is the frontrunner.

Immigration was a centerpiece of Trump’s 2016 and 2020 campaigns. And he sought to make the issue a key force in his third bid for the White House.

Trump weighed in on the issue while delivering the keynote address to hundreds of enthusiastic religious conservatives at the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference in Washington over the weekend. He promised to carry out “the largest internal expulsion operation on the border” and boasted of having completed more than 300 miles (or 480 kilometers) of wall along the southern border during his administration while promising to build even more if he wins another term.

The former president also promised to reinstate coronavirus pandemic-era rules known as Title 42 that allowed US authorities to quickly turn back migrants at the border, denouncing without evidence “all diseases that illegal aliens bring”.

DeSantis did not mention Trump by name when unveiling his new policies, but his repeated references to the unfinished border wall were seen as an indirect slap in the face at the former president, who tried and ultimately failed to complete a border wall. across the entire 1,950 mile (3,140 kilometer) U.S.-Mexico border during his four years in office.

Ahead of Monday’s announcement, the DeSantis campaign released new merchandise bearing the words “Build The Wall.” No excuses.”

In his plan, DeSantis promises to end the United States’ capture and release policy, which currently allows the illegal release of immigrants into the country until their court dates. It’s that the federal immigration authorities have funding for only 30,000 beds, which makes it impossible to detain everyone who is arrested.

DeSantis also wants to reinstate the “Stay in Mexico” policy to make asylum seekers in Mexico wait for hearings in US immigration court. Such a plan would require Mexico’s approval.

It calls for closing the “Flores loophole”, which, among other things, requires families to be released from police custody generally within 20 days. It’s part of a federal court order, so it’s unclear how he could shut it down if elected.

DeSantis also promises to use military force against drug cartels if necessary. His plan calls for allowing “appropriate rules of engagement at the border so that those who attempt to smuggle drugs into the United States face the use of force.”

DeSantis “will reserve the right to operate across the border to secure our territory from Mexican cartel activity,” according to the plan, which also calls on the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard to prevent products precursor chemicals from entering Mexican ports if “the Mexican government will not stop the manufacture of cartel drugs.

DeSantis’ plan says little about the millions of immigrants already living illegally in the country, other than a promise to deport those who overstay their visas. Deporting these people is a challenge that has eluded the authorities for decades.


People reported from New York. Associated Press writers Elliot Spagat in San Diego; Will Weissert and Colleen Long in Washington; and Jill Colvin in New York contributed to this report.

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