(The Center Square) – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday unveiled a comprehensive plan to secure the southern border “once and for all … by stopping the invasion, building the wall, holding cartels accountable, and working with states to enforce the law.”
DeSantis, a GOP candidate for president in 2024, unveiled the plan at a campaign event in Eagle Pass, Texas, near the border.
“[President] Joe Biden’s dereliction of duty has made our southern border a disaster zone. The Biden Administration is the critical link in an illegal transnational human smuggling syndicate,” DeSantis said in a statement announcing the plan. “For decades, leaders from both parties have produced empty promises on border security, and now it is time to act to stop the invasion once and for all. As president, I will declare a national emergency on day one and will not rest until we build the wall, shut down illegal entry, and win the war against the drug cartels. No excuses. We will get it done.”
U.S. Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, who’s endorsed DeSantis for president, said, “Washington’s status quo approach to border security is one of the biggest failures of our generation. This crisis has decimated ranchers, killed Americans with dangerous narcotics, placed migrants in horrific situations from sex trafficking to death, and placed American national security at risk to China and cartels. Texans and our courageous DPS Troopers deserve credit for standing in the breach created by Joe Biden. We need a president in the White House who is not afraid to use the full weight of his office to build the wall, stop the flow, and force Congress to send a bill to sign to fix the laws once and for all. Ron DeSantis not only has a strong plan to secure the border – in line with our Texas plan – he has the courage to finally deliver results.”
The Biden administration says the border is closed despite the surge in illegal immigration since he took office. Biden says his border policies are a more humanitarian way to deal with a broken system that Congress must fix.
DeSantis’ “NO EXCUSES Plan to Secure Our Border” prioritizes stopping what he says is an invasion at the southern border. In order to stop the invasion, he will end the Obama and Biden administration policies of catch-and-release.
“If you cross illegally, you will be detained until your hearing date,” he said, referring to foreign nationals. “If you arrive at a port of entry on the US-Mexico border claiming asylum, you will not enter the United States while your claim is being processed.“
When it comes to unaccompanied minors being smuggled and trafficked into and throughout the U.S., he said he’ll close the Flores loophole, which he said incentivizes child trafficking. He will also take action “to end the idea that the children of illegal aliens are entitled to birthright citizenship if they are born in the United States” to “force the courts and Congress to finally address this failed policy.”
When it comes to deportation and parole policies, DeSantis said he will end the use of Notices to Report and any government funding for non-citizen travel, end the abuse of prosecutorial discretion and parole authority in immigration-related cases, deport criminal aliens and visa overstays and remove illegal aliens from census apportionment calculations.
His plan also includes taxing “remittances from illegal aliens, with exemptions for U.S. citizens and lawfully present foreign nationals, and penalizing countries attempting evasion,” and expanding and enforcing E-Verify policies.
The Florida governor said he would defund and prosecute entities that aid or conspire to violate U.S. immigration laws and cancel all federal funding of non-governmental organizations and international organizations “engaged in facilitating illegal alien processing, human smuggling, and encouraging mass migration on behalf of the Biden administration.”
While he plans to reinstate the Trump era plan of Asylum Cooperative Agreements with Northern Triangle Countries, his plan would go further to close the Darien Gap in Panama. This region is where millions of people from all over the world are arriving, coming through South America to make their way to the United States. Closing the gap will also prevent Chinese control of the Panama Canal, he argues.
In addition to using the military to help secure the border, DeSantis said he will continue to build the wall in areas that weren’t completed under the Trump administration, designate Mexican drug cartels as Transnational Criminal Organizations and “convene the Organization of American States to announce new diplomatic, economic, and security initiatives to deter violent cartel activity.”
Notably, he said he “will authorize appropriate rules of engagement at the border so that those trying to smuggle drugs into the United States are met with the use of force.” This includes using lethal force against cartel operatives damaging the border wall. It does not have anything to do with people arriving at ports of entry.
“Right now, cartel operatives cut through portions of the border wall with impunity and poison our communities with dangerous drugs,” he said. “That ends on January 20, 2025,” inauguration day for the next president.
DeSantis also said he would halt federal lawsuits filed against states for enforcing federal immigration laws, and deputize states, allowing them to enforce federal immigration law, including deportations. He will also seek funding to reimburse states such as Texas that have spent their own taxpayer money to respond to the border crisis on their own.
His plan also includes imposing penalties on sanctuary jurisdictions, including cutting off hundreds of millions of dollars in grants to communities that won’t cooperate with federal immigration officers.