DeSantis unveils border plan focused on fighting illegal immigration

Eagle Pass, Texas – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Monday unveiled his plan for immigration near the U.S.-Mexico border, a sweeping package of policies aimed at restricting border crossings, increasing deportations and completing construction of a wall border.

DeSantis’ first presidential policy proposal includes declaring a national state of emergency and reinstating the “Remain in Mexico” policy for asylum seekers, which required some migrants to wait for their asylum hearings in Mexico. . It was imposed by President Donald Trump and terminated by President Joe Biden.

Florida’s governor said he would also end the “capture and release” policy, to hold southern border migrants in detention until their hearings, as well as the “Flores loophole”, which requires that children be released from detention within 20 years. days.

“We need to establish the rule of law in this country,” DeSantis said to cheers at the town hall where he announced the proposal. “What you’re seeing right now is asylum abuse…It’s a lot less appetizing to go on a trip like this knowing you’re not eligible in the first place and you’re going to have to wait for the across the border before making a decision.”

DeSantis would also target Mexican drug cartels, declaring them “transnational criminal organizations” and targeting them with sanctions and penalties. He also said he would “allow appropriate rules of engagement at the border” against cartels and those smuggling drugs into the United States.

That “of course” would include lethal force against cartels seeking to smuggle drugs across the southern border, he later told reporters at a news conference.

“If you drop a few of these cartel members trying to [smuggle drugs]you won’t have to worry about that anymore,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley are the only ones to hold events on the southern border as 2024 presidential candidates. Under Haley’s immigration plan, companies would be required to put implement E-verify in their hiring process, government “handouts” to migrants crossing the border would be cut and tax officials would be fired. Haley says she would also hire 25,000 new Border Patrol agents and ICE workers to deal with the overflow of migrants.

But the issue of immigration and the border wall has long been tied to Trump.

DeSantis said he would use “every dollar he has” and “every dollar he can get from Congress” to build a wall along the roughly 600 open miles of the border. He said he also wanted more funding for technology and military assistance for border patrols.

DeSantis also wants to end birthright citizenship, the policy that gives citizenship to the children of undocumented immigrants if they were born in the United States and says he would consider using the courts and Congress. to push for it.

When asked why he thinks the border wall wasn’t completed during Trump’s tenure, DeSantis pointed to congressional allies like Representative Chip Roy of Texas, who stood by his side at events on Monday. , and he repeated that he would make it a top priority. .

“It takes discipline. It takes focus. It just takes attention to the ultimate goal. And there are going to be things every day that can throw you off course if you let it. We’re not going to do that,” DeSantis says.

“You had a wall built during [Trump’s] mandate, but not enough…I agree with a lot of things he says, but I also think these are the same things that were said in 2016,” he added, saying his plan is “more aggressive” in terms of empowering local authorities to enforce immigration law and target drug cartels.

DeSantis would also penalize organizations or cities that defy its federal immigration rules or facilitate illegal border crossings.

DeSantis says he would prevent the Justice Department from prosecuting states that have stricter immigration laws, imposing tax penalties on “sanctuary” jurisdictions or places that have policies discouraging disclosure by individuals of their immigration status and to end the counting of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. Census for allocation.

As governor of Florida, DeSantis repeatedly criticized Mr. Biden’s immigration policies. In May, he signed a immigration bill which instituted stricter policies for companies that hire undocumented immigrants, banned the use of out-of-state driver’s licenses by undocumented migrants, and mandated the use of “E- Verify” for Florida employers.

In 2022, he sent 49 migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts under a migrant relocation program that received an additional $12 million in state funding in May. Florida also sent about 1,100 law enforcement officers to the southern Texas border in May.

On Monday, Trump said in a message that the “sole purpose of DeSantis’ trip…was to reiterate that he will do everything I have done to create the strongest frontier, by far, in the history of UNITED STATES”.

“A total waste of time!” he posted.

Cristina Corujo and Emma Nicholson contributed to this report.

“CBS Evening News” on the front page of Monday, June 26, 2023

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