Ron DeSantis vows to deport ‘everyone that has come illegally under Biden’
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis pledged Friday, in his strongest statement on deportation to date, to remove migrants who entered the United States illegally during President Biden’s administration.
“Everyone that has come illegally under Biden. We got to go – they’re sending back,” the Republican presidential candidate said on Friday.
Asked about deportations as he took questions from reporters following a campaign event in Long Beach, California, DeSantis reiterated that if elected to the White House, “that’s going to be the first priority. That’s probably six or seven million people right there. It’s going to require a lot of effort. It’s going to require us to lean in.”
Illegal immigration and border security have long been top of mind for Republican voters, and GOP leaders for two and a half years have heavily criticized President Biden’s administration over the surge in border crossings by migrants.
DeSantis said that “if you don’t have a sanction for violating the law… you’re going to continue to have it.”
Combating illegal immigration has been a top priority for DeSantis, who has made a number of high-profile anti-illegal immigration moves as Florida governor the past couple of years.
Standing alongside the Rio Grande in Texas — which separates the U.S. and Mexico — DeSantis in June unveiled a border security plan to “stop the invasion.”
In recent weeks, the governor has elevated the issue even further on the campaign trail, as a DeSantis-aligned super PAC supporting his presidential bid has spent big bucks to put up ads on the issue.
DeSantis stands a distant second in many of the latest Republican presidential nomination polls, far behind former President Donald Trump, who’s the commanding front-runner in the race.
The governor — who has repeatedly criticized Trump on the issue of illegal immigration and border security — continued to blast the former president on Friday.
“I would note that the former president is campaigning on the same promise he made in ‘16, that he didn’t deliver on,” DeSantis emphasized.
DeSantis charged that during then-President Barack Obama’s first term, “there were more deportations than under Trump’s term in office. Now he’s saying he’s going to do this great thing. He had four years and didn’t get the job done. You know, we’re going to get the job done.”
While DeSantis was holding a campaign event at the LA Grain Harbor Facility at the Port of Long Beach — where he took aim at Biden and California Gov. Newsom over electric vehicle mandates in the Golden State — Trump was a few miles away in Anaheim adddress the California GOP’s annual fall convention.
“I’ll solve the border problems within 24 hours of taking office,” Trump said.
And he touted that “we had the safest borders in the history of our country just three years ago.”
DeSantis was scheduled to address the same convention later on Friday.