DeSantis’ Crazy National Immigration Plan (OPINION)

Jun 27, 2023
5:57 PM

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis visited Eagle Pass, Texas on Monday as part of his 2024 presidential campaign, where he unveiled his proposed nationwide immigration policy, June 26, 2023. (Renzo Downey/Twitter)

MIAMI — At a campaign stop in Eagle Pass, Texas on Monday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) released an unhinged immigration plan that includes ending birthright citizenship, mass detention of people, and proposed military action against Mexico, while continuing to describe immigration as an invasion—a white nationalist talking point.

Let’s go over the details.

In his promise to end birthright citizenship, DeSantis —who on May 24 launched his presidential campaign for the 2024 election— says a plain reading of the 14th Amendment is “inconsistent with the original understanding” and that he would “force courts and Congress to address it.”

He doesn’t elaborate on how.

DeSantis also says he will pay for a border wall using tax remittances from undocumented people and penalize countries that attempt to evade collection. How he plans to collect this money while attempting a mass deportation program —also in his plan— is not explained either.

DeSantis proposes a mass detention program at the border while people await asylum cases to be determined. This will lead to thousands of people being held by the U.S. government for an indefinite amount of time when they could otherwise be working, paying taxes, and living fruitful lives.

His proposed mass deportation program is also pretty vague on how broad it would be, but it’s implied that anyone living unauthorized in the U.S. would be targeted, including people who overstayed their visas (which is how I came to live in the United States).

DeSantis said he would authorize deadly force against cartel operatives and drug traffickers. When asked by a reporter to detail how far-reaching this policy would be, the governor implied it could be used against any migrant, adding: “Of course you use deadly force.”

DeSantis also seeks to impose penalties on jurisdictions that have welcoming policies for immigrants by cutting off “hundreds of millions of dollars in grants to them.”

DeSantis will continue gutting the asylum system, something being done on both sides of the political aisle, although DeSantis promises to go further. He plans to block most asylum cases and force people to remain in Mexico while their cases are reviewed. He is also threatening harsher punishments for migrants crossing without authorization.

One of the most insane aspects of his plan is DeSantis’ belief that the U.S. military has “the right to operate across the border to secure our territory from Mexican cartel activities.” This would obviously violate Mexico’s sovereignty and could constitute an act of war.

There’s a lot more crazy shit in this plan, but those are just some of the things that stood out to me—all of which underscores the fact that DeSantis is dangerous and should be nowhere near the presidency.


Thomas Kennedy is an elected Democratic National Committee member from Florida. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram at @tomaskenn.