DeSantis’ Immigration Proposal: A Bold Plan or Legal Hurdles?
DeSantis’ immigration proposal bears resemblance to the policies of former President Donald Trump, who is also eyeing a White House run in 2024.
However, DeSantis’s plan faces numerous obstacles. It would require overturning legal precedents, amending the United States Constitution, and even obtaining the approval of foreign governments, such as Mexico.
Despite these challenges, DeSantis exuded confidence during a speech in Eagle Pass, Texas, where he criticized leaders from both political parties for their failure to address what he referred to as an “invasion” of immigrants.
“I have heard politicians in Washington DC talk about this issue for years, but they never reach a conclusion,” DeSantis told a crowd of approximately 100 people. “There are no excuses anymore.”
The DeSantis campaign has promised to unveil more detailed policy implementations in the coming weeks.
By making immigration a top priority, DeSantis is appealing to the conservative base of the Republican Party, which has long been focused on this divisive issue.
What Did DeSantis Say About His Immigration Plan?
DeSantis may find it challenging to differentiate himself from other Republicans vying for the 2024 presidential nomination, particularly from the favored Trump.
Nevertheless, DeSantis made an effort to stand out. During his speech, he supported an audience member who described the border situation as an “act of war.”
“I believe that the state of Texas has the right to declare an invasion,” DeSantis affirmed. “As president, under Article 2 of the Constitution, it is my responsibility and duty to protect the country. We will do so firmly.”
While DeSantis avoided mentioning Trump by name, his references to the unfinished border wall were a clear blow to the former president. Trump had attempted, but ultimately failed, to complete a border wall spanning the entire US-Mexico border during his tenure.
Prior to the announcement, the DeSantis campaign released messages with the slogans “Build the wall. Without excuses.”
How Did Trump Respond to DeSantis’ Announcement on Immigration?
Trump, upon watching his Republican rival’s appearance on television, dismissed DeSantis’s comments as “very boring.”
“The DeSanctus Speech [sic] was just a repetition of everything I did to achieve the ‘strongest, most secure border in American history,'” Trump wrote on his social media platform, Truth Social.
Trump emphasized his stance on immigration during his keynote address at the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference in Washington over the weekend. He pledged to carry out “the largest national deportation operation on the border” and boasted about completing over 300 miles of the border wall during his presidency, with plans for further construction if reelected.
While Trump’s policies aimed to restrict immigration, the number of border crossings actually increased during his time in office before declining due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Additionally, concerns were raised regarding human rights violations, particularly with the Remain in Mexico program and the separation of families at the border.
What Does DeSantis Need to End Birthright Citizenship?
Like Trump, DeSantis pledged to end birthright citizenship, which grants automatic citizenship to babies born on American soil as stated in the 14th Amendment of the Constitution.
However, amending the Constitution is a complex and lengthy process. It requires a two-thirds vote from both Houses of Congress or a convention called by two-thirds of the states. Subsequently, the proposed amendment must be ratified by three-fourths of the state legislatures or conventions.
DeSantis’ Immigration Plan: Legal Hurdles and Mexican Government Approval
DeSantis aims to end the catch and release policy, which allows the release of undocumented immigrants until their court hearings. This poses a challenge due to limited resources for detaining all those arrested.
The Florida governor also seeks to reinstate the Remain in Mexico policy, requiring asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for their US immigration court hearings. However, this plan necessitates approval from the Mexican government.
Furthermore, DeSantis aims to close the Flores Settlement, which mandates the release of families from custody within 20 days. As this agreement is part of a federal court order, it remains uncertain how DeSantis could close it if elected.
DeSantis also proposes the use of military force against drug cartels if necessary. He asserts the right to operate across the border to protect US territory from cartel activities. The plan also involves the US Navy and Coast Guard blocking precursor chemicals from entering Mexican ports if the Mexican government fails to curb cartel drug manufacturing.
“We will utilize all available power against Mexico and the cartels,” DeSantis declared. “If they attempt to bring their products into our country and harm our people, we not only have the right, but the responsibility to fight back.”
DeSantis’ plan provides little insight into addressing the millions of undocumented immigrants already residing in the US, aside from promising to deport those who have overstayed their visas. Deportation of such individuals has proven to be a longstanding challenge for authorities.
“It was done to instill fear”: Florida Republicans now seek to prevent the flight of migrants
DeSantis’ immigration proposal, which bears resemblance to former President Trump’s policies, faces numerous obstacles and legal hurdles. It would require overturning legal precedents, amending the US Constitution, and obtaining the approval of foreign governments. Despite these challenges, DeSantis expressed confidence during a speech in Texas, criticizing leaders from both parties for failing to address the “invasion” of immigrants. The DeSantis campaign plans to unveil more detailed policy implementations in the coming weeks. By prioritizing immigration, DeSantis is appealing to the conservative base of the Republican Party. However, he may find it challenging to differentiate himself from other Republicans vying for the 2024 presidential nomination, including Trump. Trump dismissed DeSantis’ comments as “very boring” and reiterated his own accomplishments on border security, including his plans for further construction of the border wall if reelected. DeSantis also pledged to end birthright citizenship, but amending the Constitution is a complex process.
What legal hurdles would DeSantis need to overcome to implement his immigration proposal?
Implementing an immigration proposal, like the one suggested by Governor DeSantis, would require overcoming several legal hurdles. These hurdles could include:
1. Constitutionality: Any immigration policy implemented by a state government must comply with the United States Constitution. This means that it cannot conflict with federal immigration laws or infringe upon the federal government’s authority over immigration.
2. Preemption: The federal government has broad authority over immigration matters, as established by various court rulings. If a state law conflicts with or attempts to regulate an area already governed by federal law, it may be subject to legal challenges on the grounds of preemption.
3. Discrimination: Immigration policies that discriminate against individuals based on race, nationality, or other protected characteristics could be considered unconstitutional. Any proposal by DeSantis that is found to unfairly target a particular group may face legal scrutiny.
4. Due process and equal protection: Any immigration policy must respect the constitutional rights of individuals, including due process and equal protection. Measures that deny individuals their rights, such as detaining or deporting individuals without proper procedures, may be subject to legal challenges.
5. Humanitarian obligations: A state immigration policy must also take into account international law and humanitarian obligations. Asylum seekers and refugees have certain rights under international law, and any proposal that fails to address these rights adequately may face legal challenges.
6. Financial and logistical limitations: The implementation of an immigration policy could require significant resources and coordination. Overcoming financial and logistical hurdles, such as securing funding and ensuring effective implementation, would be necessary for any immigration proposal to be successfully implemented.