Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis made a strong statement about his immigration policy during the CNN GOP presidential debate in Iowa, asserting a commitment to mass deportation of migrants if elected.
DeSantis’ Firm Immigration Policy
DeSantis, in the debate, expressed concern about migrants coming from “all over the world,” describing the situation as a “ticking time bomb” for the United States. He emphasized the need for strict enforcement of immigration laws. “They all have to go back. We have to enforce the rule of law in this country,” he declared, underscoring his commitment to a stringent immigration policy.
Criticizing President Biden’s approach to border security, DeSantis accused the current administration of failing to ensure that laws are “faithfully executed.” When asked by co-moderator Jake Tapper to clarify his stance on whether any of the millions of people who have entered the country illegally would be allowed to stay, DeSantis was unequivocal. “The number of people that will be amnestied when I am president is zero,” he stated, firmly opposing any form of amnesty for undocumented immigrants. He reasoned that amnesty would only encourage more illegal immigration.
DeSantis vs. Haley on Immigration
The debate further highlighted a divide between DeSantis and fellow Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley on how to handle the immigration issue. DeSantis questioned Haley’s ability to manage the border effectively, comparing it to “having a fox guard the hen house.” He referred to Haley’s 2015 statement, where she suggested that undocumented immigrants should not be labeled as “criminals,” calling her “weak on immigration.”
Haley, in response, clarified her position. While she believes that undocumented immigrants should not automatically be termed criminals, she agrees with the need for their deportation. “You have to deport them, and the reason you have to deport them is they’re cutting the line,” Haley argued. She supported the idea that deporting undocumented immigrants would deter others from entering the country illegally.
The debate showcased the tough immigration policies championed by leading Republican candidates, with DeSantis taking a particularly hardline stance. The focus on enforcing strict immigration laws and opposing amnesty reflects a broader debate within the party on how best to address the challenges of illegal immigration in the United States.