Ron DeSantis Unveils Tough Border Policy With A Focus On Competence

Echoing Trump, yet vowing delivery: The Florida governor debuts his immigration strategy amid stagnating poll numbers.

What’s happening: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis unveiled an anti-illegal immigration strategy on Monday while on a visit to the southern border. Echoing former President Donald Trump's blueprint, DeSantis asserts he will be the one to effectively implement these measures. The proposal marks DeSantis's first comprehensive policy outline as a 2024 presidential hopeful.

The plan: DeSantis pledges to halt the U.S.'s “catch-and-release” practice and reintroduce “Remain in Mexico.” His plan also addresses the "Flores loophole," which mandates the release of children from custody within 20 days. DeSantis will use military force against drug cartels if needed, according to the plan, and deport those who overstay their visas. He also promises to complete the construction of the border wall.

Trump’s response: “He is a failed candidate, whose sole purpose in making the trip was to reiterate the fact that he would do all of the things done by me in creating the strongest Border, by far, in U.S. history,” Trump said on Truth Social, later adding that DeSantis’s policy speech was "very boring.” Trump's immigration policies aimed to restrict border crossings, yet the influx at the U.S.-Mexico border escalated during his tenure, only to decline amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Implementing policy: The Florida governor has maintained that Trump's immigration strategies were strong but fell short in execution. Promising a more "aggressive" approach to enforcing robust immigration laws, DeSantis vowed to avoid "empty promises" in a clear jab at the former president. Under Trump, only 458 miles of the “border wall system” were built along the 1,954-mile U.S.-Mexico border, and the proposal of ending birthright citizenship remained unfulfilled, something DeSantis now pledges to achieve.