DeSantis Promises Strict Border Enforcement During Visit

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) promised strong enforcement of border policy if he is elected president in 2024. The candidate made remarks promising a special designation for drug cartels during a visit to the U.S.-Mexico border this week.

DeSantis called the ongoing issues at the border an “American problem,” and not just one that affects states bordering Mexico. In particular, the candidate cited the increase in deaths caused by fentanyl entering the country.

The Florida governor referenced the increasing number of nationals from outside of Mexico attempting to enter the country.

He said that during a 2021 trip to the border, he saw migrants “from halfway around the world coming through on this southern border because they know all you got to do is show up on the border and you’re gonna get a ticket to come into the interior of the United States.”

The presidential candidate laid responsibility for the current border crisis on President Joe Biden, stating that the federal government “acknowledges that you’ve had a significant number of people on its own terrorist watch list that have come across the border, and we know there have been a lot of criminal aliens that have come across the border. So this is a huge problem.”

DeSantis referenced actions taken by Florida during his tenure as a potential solution. He said that the state barred the practice of sanctuary cities and mandates that employers check the legal status of employees. The governor also said that Florida was able to reduce the number of migrant ships coming to the nation through the use of state resources.

The governor called for stronger enforcement mechanisms to prevent migrant crossings. In particular, he promised to “deputize all state and local governments to be able to enforce immigration law, you will be able to have that authority.”

DeSantis said he would consider the use of force to prevent cartel members from entering the country.

“We will designate them either transnational criminal organization, foreign terrorists,” the governor said. “Bottom line is we’re going to give them a designation so that we can unleash more federal power to be able to kneecap the cartels, and so that’s going to happen.”